Mark Wahlberg's underwear and Brooke Shields' implied lack thereof made everyone aware of Calvins. From its men's briefs to its haute couture, Calvin Klein is known for clothing, as well as fragrances and accessories, that are all about attitude. It designs all products and makes its ready-to-wear collection of women's and men's clothing; most of its profit comes from licensing the Calvin Klein name for items such as shoes, jeans, underwear, hosiery, watches, bedding, tabletop products, and furniture. Calvin Klein owns or licenses namesake stores worldwide. The company was founded in 1968 by Barry Schwartz and designer Calvin Klein, owners of the business for 36 years before selling to clothing maker PVH.
Calvin Klein's operations are divided into two businesses: More than 60% of sales are generated through Calvin Klein Apparel, which comprises the company's dress furnishings and men's sportswear businesses, and Calvin Klein's 115 retail and outlet stores. Remaining sales are attributable to Calvin Klein Licensing, which generates strong earnings by managing licensing agreements with third parties, as well as the men's and women's wholesale apparel and New York City retail flagship businesses. Calvin Klein has about 50 licensing and other arrangements across the three Calvin Klein brands.
Beyond the wardrobe, Calvin Klein has boosted its selection of home furnishings. The designer has launched two designer furniture lines under the names Calvin Klein and The curator collection by Calvin Klein Home. The Calvin Klein line is sold exclusively through select Macy's stores, and The curator collection is found at fine furniture retailers in the US. The lines are produced under a licensing agreement with manufacturers Alexandre International and Shayne Industries. Calvin Klein's foray into furniture supports its strategy of extending its home lifestyle products.
The US is New York-based Calvin Klein's largest market, accounting for about 60% of its annual sales. Europe contributes about a quarter of the company's total. Calvin Klein retail stores are located primarily in premium outlet centers in the US and Canada.
In fiscal 2013 (ended January) Calvin Klein Licensing rang up $425 million in sales, while Calvin Klein Apparel brought in $750 million. Overall, worldwide retail sales of products sold under the Calvin Klein brands were approximately $7.6 billion fiscal 2013.
In the decade since PVH acquired Calvin Klein, it has expanded the brand's global reach, particularly in Asia, and transformed Calvin Klein into a global brand powerhouse with annual sales approaching $8 billion. One of the keys to Calvin Klein's success is that it maintains creative control over its product design, development, operations, and advertising, created by an in-house advertising agency, CRK Advertising. A key to future success is PVH's 2013 acquisition of its largest licensee for Calvin Klein products Warnaco. By reuniting the Calvin Klein brand under one owner, PVH gained complete direct global control of the brand image and commercial decisions for the two largest Calvin Klein apparel categories: jeans and underwear. This allows the company to better coordinate product design, merchandising, supply chain, and retail distribution and marketing, and strengthen the brand's global potential. The $2.9 billion purchase fundamentally transformed Calvin Klein's structure from a licensing model, relying on the work of outside companies, to an operating model.