Calvin Klein 205W39NYC
What: The American label’s luxury RTW line, previously known as Calvin Klein Collection
The Raf effect: Besides the name change to reflect the address of the brand’s New York headquarters (despite being a mouthful, it’s very “NYC”, straightforward and, in turn, very “Raf”), he wasted no time in introducing his signature sense of colour – saturated reds, yellows, greens and oranges – and wry yet romantic view on traditional Americana tropes from his F/W ’17 debut. (He arguably kicked off the revival of cowboy boots.) For S/S ’18, the Belgian mined Hollywood – specifically notions of American horror and beauty – as well as Andy Warhol. The end result was a vivid play on contrasts: gentle evocations of ’50s couture silhouettes (a motif throughout his career, dating back to his Jil Sander days) updated with sporty, technical fabrics like nylon and rubber (a hallmark of his cult eponymous label).
Calvin Klein Jeans
What: The brand’s decidedly casual collection of staples geared more towards the youthful crowd with its focus on denim
The Raf effect: Many elements seen in 205W39NYC are now unmistakable here – from the cowboy boots to the colour-blocked shirts and marching pants. The difference? These are more everyday-friendly in style, fabric and price. This season’s vaguely ’60s denim minidress, paired with patent leather boots, hints at Simons’ obsession with youth culture. The ’90s “cK Calvin Klein Jeans” logo shows up on patches that serve up a dose of nostalgia as much as utilitarianism, and cheeky dig at street culture – three things Raf is known for.
Ck Calvin Klein
What: Originally known as Calvin Klein Platinum, it was rebranded as “ck Calvin Klein”. Think of it as a bridge between the main RTW line and Calvin Klein Jeans – not as upscale as the former, but more polished than the latter.
The Raf effect: Leather bags festooned with fringes are reminiscent of the memorable pom-pom-inspired dresses that closed the S/S ’18 205W39NYC show. Tailoring-wise, the suits retain Simons’ signature silhouette, which he introduced in
F/W ’17 (boxy jackets and slim-cut pants sporting the familiar band stripes down the side). Sprightly hues such as sky blue and cyan, coupled with the brand’s now-requisite cowboy boots, lend a fun, trendy twist.
Calvin Klein Underwear
What: Introduced in the early ’80s, the line became one of the brand’s defining tent poles – it was so popular at its inception that posters placed across New York bus shelters were stolen overnight. While Klein didn’t invent designer underwear, he was probably the first to turn them into true status symbols. Proof? The faces that fronted its campaigns have all became household names – from Kate Moss to Kendall; Marky Mark to the Biebs.
The Raf effect: For the first time, the predominantly monochromatic range has gone full Technicolor – featuring stripes of pastel hues that echo those used in the other
Calvin Klein lines and Simons’ own oeuvre.
Calvin Klein Performance
What: First launched in 2008, it’s Calvin Klein’s version of sportswear apparel, and runs the gamut from compression tights to trendy hoodies. Don’t write it off as a lightweight though – details such as reinforcement tape on leggings hide VPLs without compromising on aesthetics or material integrity. It’s also expanded to include menswear for the first time.
The Raf effect: Like all the other lines, expect a lot of colours – specifically highlighter shades of red, pink, blue and orange. Standout pieces, such as the lightweight trench coat, look versatile enough to work on a daily basis without looking like you just came from the gym.
This story first appeared in Female’s April 2018 issue.