Popularly known as CK, Calvin Klein is synonymous with a minimalist and sensual aesthetic in fashion and marketing arenas. This aesthetic is the foundation of their product design and communication, which even after five decades continues to rule the hearts of many around the globe.
American fashion designer Calvin Klein was born in 1942 in the Bronx and studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. In the late 1960s, he worked as a freelance designer for several stores in New York City. He founded Calvin Klein Ltd. in 1968 in New York with his childhood friend Barry Schwartz.
What started as a coat shop, expanded to one of the biggest fashion houses that squashed conventional fashion trends. Over the years, the brand has also included apparel, fragrances, jewelry, and watches in its product kitty.
Below are some of the marketing implemented by the luxury brand over the years
1. Edgy and Provocative imagery
CK used the idea of marketing its products using bold, almost offensive imagery. Over the years in their marketing campaigns, you can find models in allusive poses. Although this kind of marketing was a great risk, it helped the CK brand attract consumer attention and facilitate recall.
On multiple occasions, the brand came under fire, with many suggesting that it putting sexuality to use, which is often not considered appropriate by society. On the other hand, many consider it a symbol of rebellion and independence.
In addition to the sensual image, CK is also synonymous with being a gender-inclusive brand. From Judge Smith to Hunter Doohan, many LGBTQ+ celebrities have been seen endorsing the brand.
Calvin Klein shook up fashion advertising in the 1980s and is still going strong with the bold images of its products.
2. Banking on exclusivity
CK, a premium apparel and lifestyle brand, charges higher prices for its products that reflect quality and exclusivity. The use of high-quality raw materials and impeccable craftsmanship contribute to making it a luxury brand.
The brand also deliberately selects its distribution channels to maintain a premium and exclusive image, as well as ensure easy access to its target audience.
3. Brand Ambassadors and celebrity collaborations
To expand its reach, the brand has partnered with many celebrities and artists over the years.
From Brooke Shields to Mark Wahlberg, Kate Moss, the Kardashians, and Jenner, many well-known models and public figures in the global fashion circuit have endorsed Calvin Klein. More recently, artists such as Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber have also appeared in Calvin Klein campaigns.
Currently, South Korean singer-songwriter and BTS member, Jung Kook, is the face of Calvin Klein around the world. Closer home, Disha Patani is the face of Calvin Klein.
4. Minimalist brand identity
The brand identity is that of a minimalist brand exuding confidence, modernity, sophistication, and versatility. This is evident in every element of the brand, with its logo featuring a simple ‘CK’ monogram, that is instantly recognizable.
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