Nov 5, 2019
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Calvin Klein targets millennials with anniversary capsule

Nov 5, 2019

Founded in 1968, Calvin Klein is making the most of its 50th anniversary with a millennial-focused marketing coup, calling in a bevy of A-list influencers for the launch of CK50. With this anniversary collection, composed of a variety of classics ranging from jeans to underwear, the PVH-owned brand, which is still in the midst of restructuring, is hoping to reach a wider, younger audience. 

The Biebers pose for Calvin Klein - © Glen Luchford

Recently launched in the U.S. and a selection of other countries, the campaign will be rolled out worldwide in the coming weeks, and revolves around a video and photos that will be strategically posted on social media by the young CK50 stars. 

Among these is Justin Bieber, who poses with his new wife, Hailey Baldwin, for the first time in the campaign, shot by photographer Glen Luchford. The brand has also tapped rapper A$AP Rocky, model and socialite Kendall Jenner, Australian singer Troye Sivan, Chinese model Liu Wen, Dutch actor and model Parker Van Noord, and American top model Rebecca Leigh Longendyke. 

All of these personalities come together for a journey through the last half-century in the laid-back and playful campaign video, which deftly mixes references, from the launch of 1969's mission to the moon, seen flickering on a retro TV screen, to legendary New York nightclub Studio 54 in its 70s heyday, not to mention the shots of the underwear and denim that cemented Calvin Klein's fame during its prime in the 90s. 

Liu Wen personifies the 80s in the CK50 campaign - © Glen Luchford

The collection, which includes both men's and womenswear, can be purchased on the brand's e-commerce website, as well as in its stores. It offers a range of basics at accessible prices, from logo trunks to t-shirts and jeans. Briefs, sweatshirts, denim jackets, bombers, knitwear, pullovers, miniskirts, dresses, leggings, bodysuits and bralettes round out the wardrobe, which features the CK50 logo prominently, along with the name Calvin Klein. There are also accessories, including bags, caps and belts.

The capsule is part of the American brand's wider efforts to reposition itself following the departure of creative director Raf Simons in 2018. The Belgian designer had been brought in from Dior two years earlier in an attempt to elevate the brand's fashion offering. In March, PVH announced the end of Calvin Klein's high-end line 205W39NYC, formerly known as Calvin Klein Collection, and the brand's iconic Madison Avenue store was also closed. 

A number of the company's employees were laid off in New York, but also in Milan, where Calvin Klein's offices closed this Spring in order to integrate the label's European HQ in Amsterdam. In June, Cheryl Abel-Hodges took over as CEO of the brand. Swatch also recently ended its partnership with Calvin Klein, after 22 years holding its watch license and 5 years producing its jewelry. 

CK50 celebrates Studio 54 and the 70s with A$AP Rocky - © Glen Luchford

In the second quarter, the brand's sales dropped 6% year over year to $873 million. Calvin Klein's declines have been particularly notable in the U.S., where quarterly sales fell 13% compared to the prior-year period. The decrease was caused mainly by the end of the brand's license with its U.S. textile partner G-III Apparel Group and a 3% decline in comparable retail sales in North America.

In its international segment, Calvin Klein's quarterly revenues increased 1% (5% in constant currencies) to $465 million, thanks to continued growth in Europe and PVH's acquisition of its operations in Australia and New Zealand through the purchase of its Australian partner Gazal. According to PVH, this progress helped offset the revenue lost due to the discontinuation of the Calvin Klein 205W39NYC line. 

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