Calvin Klein was born in November 1942 in New York in the family of Leo and Flore Klein. His father immigrated to the US from Hungary and his mother was the daughter of the Ukrainian immigrants.

As a child, Calvin attended Isobel Rooney Middle School. Afterwards he went to Manhattan High School of Art and Design and also matriculated at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, from which he actually never graduated.

In 1962 Calvin apprenticed at Dan Millstein, a cloak-and-suit manufacturer, and afterwards was designing for different New York City shops for another five years.

In 1968 he launched his first company in the partnership with Barry K. Schwartz, his childhood friend.

At this time Calvin managed to become a protégé of Baron de Gunzburg, who helped him enter the elite of the New York Fashion scene.


His talent was immediately recognized after the first New York Fashion Week show, naming him the new Yves Saint Laurent and paying tributes to his clean lines.

During his life Calvin Klein was awarded multiple fashion awards including the CFDA’s outstanding design in menswear and womenswear in 1973, awards from the Council of Fashion Designs of America in 1981, 1983 and 1993, and many others.

Watch Calvin Klein speaking about his career

Watch Calvin Klein's Fall/Winter 2018 / 2019 Fashion Show