Calvin Klein exits collection business, leaving ‘halo’ effect behind

Calvin Klein is bidding the Collection business goodbye.

After deciding in January to shutter its 205W39NYC business, the renamed high-end designer collection in which parent PVH Corp. had invested close to $70 million, Klein has opted to get out of the collection business altogether. In January, Klein said it planned to relaunch the 205W39NYC collection business following chief creative officer Raf Simons’ departure under a new name, design approach and creative direction, but changed its mind after a thorough review of the entire business.

As a result, 50 employees in the New York office and 50 employees in the Milan office were let go, and the company plans to shut down the Milan office. In addition, Michelle Kessler-Sanders, president of Calvin Klein 205W39NYC and Calvin Klein by Appointment, will be leaving the company, but will stay on through June to help close down the business. She may continue to work in an advisory capacity beyond that.

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(Credit: Calvin Klein)

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(Credit: Calvin Klein)

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(Credit: Calvin Klein)

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(Credit: Calvin Klein)

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(Credit: Calvin Klein)

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(Credit: Calvin Klein)

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The brand plans to shutter its Calvin Klein by Appointment business unit as well, but to continue to dress talent and celebrities, said a source close to the company.

Steve Shiffman, who remains chief executive officer of Calvin Klein Inc., was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

Klein bypassed a fashion show in February and shipped its final 205W39NYC collection under Simons’ direction for spring 2019.

Prior to Simons’ tenure as chief creative officer in August 2016, the Collection had represented a modern, minimalist and clean aesthetic and while not a big volume generator, set the tone and created a “halo” effect for Klein’s entire business.

While Simons brought a lot of buzz to the house and won several prestigious CFDA Awards for the Collection, he took the brand in a totally different design direction, which some considered too high-concept and didn’t relate to the DNA of the brand. Emanuel Chirico, chairman and ceo of PVH Corp., parent company of Klein, said over the last three years, the group has invested between $60 million and $70 million in 205W39NYC — and it hasn’t seen a return on the investment.

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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway for Calvin Klein Collection during New York Fashion Week at New York Stock Exchange on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway for Calvin Klein Collection during New York Fashion Week at New York Stock Exchange on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway for Calvin Klein Collection during New York Fashion Week at New York Stock Exchange on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway for Calvin Klein Collection during New York Fashion Week at New York Stock Exchange on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway for Calvin Klein Collection during New York Fashion Week at New York Stock Exchange on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway for Calvin Klein Collection during New York Fashion Week at New York Stock Exchange on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway for Calvin Klein Collection during New York Fashion Week at New York Stock Exchange on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway for Calvin Klein Collection during New York Fashion Week at New York Stock Exchange on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway for Calvin Klein Collection during New York Fashion Week at New York Stock Exchange on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Yasmin Le Bon walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Felice Noordhoff walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Stella Tennant walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Doutzen Kroes walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway for Calvin Klein Collection during New York Fashion Week at New York Stock Exchange on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2019 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway for Calvin Klein Collection during New York Fashion Week at New York Stock Exchange on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Model Kaia Gerber walks the runway for Calvin Klein Collection during New York Fashion Week at New York Stock Exchange on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway for Calvin Klein Collection during New York Fashion Week at New York Stock Exchange on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway for Calvin Klein Collection during New York Fashion Week at New York Stock Exchange on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway for Calvin Klein Collection during New York Fashion Week at New York Stock Exchange on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A model walks the runway for Calvin Klein Collection during New York Fashion Week at New York Stock Exchange on September 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
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As reported, Klein and Simons amicably parted ways in late December after Klein decided on a brand direction that differed from Simons’ creative vision. Simons’ three-year contract was set to expire in August.

In January, Klein also said it planned to close its New York flagship at 654 Madison Avenue. The flagship, opened in 1995, was reimagined under Simons with a floor-to-ceiling installation by artist Sterling Ruby to showcase the Belgian designer’s 205W39NYC collection. Ruby had transformed the boutique in June 2017 from its minimal design by John Pawson to an otherworldly installation consisting of bright yellow walls, industrial scaffolding and soft, tie-dye fabric sculptures.

PVH said in January that the Calvin Klein restructuring, primarily consisting of severance, inventory markdowns and allowances, and the store closure were expected to result in about $120 million in restructuring costs over 12 months. About 100 employees were let ago across the entire business, including the flagship, in January.

 

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Raf Simons, of Calvin Klein, winner of the women's wear designer award, left, and Naomi Campbell, winner of the fashion icon award, pose in the winner's walk at the CFDA Fashion Awards at the Brooklyn Museum on Monday, June 4, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Raf Simons, of Calvin Klein, winner of the women's wear designer award, from left, Cate Blanchett, and Naomi Campbell, winner of the fashion icon award, and Lee Daniels pose in the winner's walk at the CFDA Fashion Awards at the Brooklyn Museum on Monday, June 4, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Cate Blanchett, left, and Raf Simons, of Calvin Klein, winner of the women's wear designer award, pose in the winner's walk at the CFDA Fashion Awards at the Brooklyn Museum on Monday, June 4, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Raf Simons, of Calvin Klein, winner of the women's wear designer award, poses in the winner's walk at the CFDA Fashion Awards at the Brooklyn Museum on Monday, June 4, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Raf Simons headshot, Belgian designer, graphic element on gray
Photo by: John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx 2017 11/1/17 Marc Jacobs and Raf Simons at WSJ Magazine 2017 Innovator Awards in New York City.
Honoree Raf Simons attends the WSJ. Magazine Innovator Awards at The Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
FILE - In this Tuesday, July 11, 2017 file photo, Fashion designer Raf Simons, left, makes adjustments before his fashion show during Men's Fashion Week in New York. Designer Raf Simons is parting ways with Calvin Klein after two years with the fashion company. Calvin Klein announced in a statement Friday, Dec. 21, 2018 the Belgian designer's departure as the chief creative officer was amicable. The company said it decided on a new brand direction different from Simons' creative vision. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
Raf Simons, winner of the awards for menswear designer of the year and womenswear designer of the year, poses in the press room at the CFDA Fashion Awards at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Monday, June 5, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
FILE - In this Monday, June 5, 2017, file photo, Raf Simons, winner of the awards for menswear designer of the year and womenswear designer of the year, poses in the press room at the CFDA Fashion Awards at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. Designer Raf Simons is parting ways with Calvin Klein after two years with the fashion company. Calvin Klein announced in a statement Friday, Dec. 21, 2018 the Belgian designer's departure as the chief creative officer was amicable. The company said it decided on a new brand direction different from Simons' creative vision.(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
Raf Simons, right, attends the TIME 100 Gala, celebrating the 100 most influential people in the world, at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Raf Simons, left, chief creative officer, and Pieter Mulier, creative director, greet the audience after presenting their Calvin Klein runway show during Fashion Week in New York, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)
Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons acknowledges applause after the presentation of Christian Dior's Spring-Summer 2016 ready-to-wear fashion collection, presented during the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris, Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
ADDS NAME OF DESIGNER - Belgian designer Raf Simons waves as he receives applause at the end of Christian Dior's ready to wear fall-winter 2015-2016 fashion collection, as part of Paris Fashion week, presented in Paris, France, Friday, March 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Christian Dior Artistic Director Raf Simons greets guests after Christian Dior's Fall 2015 fashion show at the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Arena in Tokyo, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Designer Raf Simons waves after Christian Dior's Spring/Summer 2015 ready-to-wear fashion collection presented in Paris, France, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons, right, acknowledges applause at the end of Christian Dior's ready to wear fall-winter 2015-2016 fashion collection, as part of the Paris Fashion Week, presented, in Paris, France, Friday, March 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons arrives after Dior's Fall-Winter 2014-2015 Haute Couture fashion collection, in Paris, France, Monday, July 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon))
Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons blows a kiss to the audience after the presentation of Dior's Fall-Winter 2014-2015 Haute Couture fashion collection, in Paris, France, Monday, July 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon))
Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons acknowledges applause following the presentation of his men's Spring-Summer 2015 collection, presented in Paris, Wednesday, June 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
Christian Dior president and CEO Sidney Toledano, left, actress Marion Cotillard and International Award recipient Raf Simons pose backstage at the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, June 2, 2014, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/AP Images)
Creative Director of Dior Raf Simons walks the runway during the Dior Cruise 2015 Fashion Show at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Brad Barket/Invision/AP)
Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons, foreground, and Dior CEO Sidney Toledano acknowledge applause following the presentation of the Dior Spring-Summer 2014 Haute Couture fashion collection, Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 in Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
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A source close to the situation said the company still has an active search under way for a fashion director, who would oversee design for the entire business. That person will work closely with the design and merchandising teams of all product categories.

Morris Goldfarb, chairman and ceo of G-III Apparel Corp., which does the bulk of Calvin Klein’s apparel business, said, “I never met Raf and he had no impact on our business. Needless to say, I don’t need a replacement.” The fact that Klein is not going forward with a Collection “has nothing to do with G-III,” he said.

He said if Klein hires a fashion director to oversee Calvin Klein’s products, that person will interact with G-III. “They have historically had interaction with us. They view the product and it’s an open-door policy. They have the right to approve everything we produce. We understand the brand quite well. We helped create the women’s side of the business. They have the right to direct what we go out with. It’s their brand,” said Goldfarb. G-III has the Calvin Klein license for ready-to-wear, accessories, outerwear, swimwear and dresses in North America.

Susan Sokol, cofounder and ceo of High Alchemy, and a former president of Calvin Klein Collection from 1983 to 1994, said Wednesday that she believes that these days, the Calvin Klein business can flourish without the “halo” aspect of a designer collection.

“I do believe it can because I think the brand Calvin Klein became a true mass brand once PVH bought it. And I don’t mean this in a negative way. I think PVH has done an admirable job of leveraging the Calvin Klein name and dream through its marketing efforts. The customer that is buying Calvin Klein dresses, sportswear, denim, perfume, underwear, eyewear, etc., is not the designer customer and has not been for many years. Through these last two decades the business has clearly flourished under PVH’s leadership. The women’s collection was only a tiny morsel of the total picture. So now, after all this time, I think we have been looking at a different business model for Calvin Klein that is clearly working with very solid licensing partners, smart top management and a business that will continue to flourish with or without a designer umbrella collection business.”

Robert Burke, founder and ceo of Robert Burke Associates, an industry consultancy, said, “It’s sad to hear because when one thinks of the Calvin Klein business and the Collection business and what it represented to American fashion and to the world, it’s sad to see it go away. It speaks to how delicate the fashion business is today.”

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“And they certainly had the resources and the manpower to execute, but unfortunately it didn’t work. Sometimes it’s not just about the manpower and the financial strength. It’s really about product and talent,” added Burke.

“I think that fashion is aspirational and it has to have that element. I’m sure it gives pause for many of the big groups to question the importance of Collection,” he said. “Call me a romantic. I still think you need it. It has to make people dream and aspire to something. It’s really the launching point for everything,” he said.

Asked whether a Collection is necessary for a designer business to flourish today, Ron Frasch, operating partner at Castanea Partners, who has his own consulting business, said, “I think it’s different for every brand. For Calvin Klein, I think it would have been important had they retained the right designer and the right staffing commitment. They brought in quality executives under Shiffman, and I thought those were very good moves, but it sounds like it just didn’t work out. Unless they were willing to make that commitment again, I don’t think it’s necessary. I think it’s very sad. This is a treasured American brand with a great history about American sportswear. But that commitment, and that’s a very expensive commitment, I’m sure they had hoped for much better returns on it. I don’t think that anyone will miss it unfortunately.”

He said he didn’t feel it would impact what G-III is doing. “It would have had a positive impact had it been executed as they had hoped, but it’s also a very expensive commitment to make,” said Frasch. “They lost a lot of money with it, they lost money prior to that. Unless they were willing to make that commitment again, it’s not worthwhile. I’m sorry for Michelle and all the staff.”

Discussing whether the brand can succeed without a designer collection, Kim Vernon, president and ceo of Vernon Company, a consulting firm, said, “I see it as a huge challenge that would require experienced and knowledgeable talent and management in order to rethink how to hold onto the core values of the brand, which have been sidelined, while developing exciting product and selling formats that are relevant today. Tommy [Hilfiger] and his team have done a great job at maintaining relevance in a very true-to-brand way. What that looks like for Calvin Klein, without a Collection, will probably be an evolution, not a revolution. My fingers are crossed.”

After years of establishing a minimalist and modern design aesthetic for Calvin Klein, the company underwent a complete transformation under Simons. At the time, Simons was given the kind of complete control that had not been seen since the days when Calvin Klein himself, and his partner, Barry Schwartz, were running the business. Simons immediately set out to rethink the collections, change the teams, change the ad campaigns and basically reinvent the Klein business, which was generating some $8 billion in sales but had lost its momentum in some respects.

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25 richest supermodels to walk Fashion Week
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25 richest supermodels to walk Fashion Week

Ashley Graham Net Worth: $1 Million

Plus-sized model Ashley Graham made her NYFW debut in February 2017 while walking in the Michael Kors fashion show. The “America’s Next Top Model” judge has been modeling since age 12 and is passionate about helping women appreciate their bodies at any size.

She hasn’t yet made Forbes’ list of top-earning models, but she did land a spot in the magazine’s "2016 30 Under 30: Art & Style" compilation.

Jasmine Tookes Net Worth: $5 Million

In February 2017, Jasmine Tookes stayed busy at New York Fashion Week, gracing the runway in 2017 collections by Jeremy Scott, Jonathan Simkhai and Prabal Gurung.

A Victoria’s Secret model since 2015, she made Forbes’ list of highest-paid models for the first time in 2016, when she earned $4 million.

Karolina Kurkova Net Worth: $10 Million

Former Victoria’s Secret model Karolina Kurkova has plenty of NYFW experience. Recently, she strutted her stuff in Christian Siriano’s February 2017 show and Marchesa's 2015 show.

It’s been almost a decade since Kurkova was included on Forbes’ list of highest-paid models, but in 2008 she made the cut with $5 million in earnings.

Bella Hadid Net Worth: $12 Million

Gigi Hadid’s younger sister is quickly making a name for herself in the fashion world. During the Fall 2017 New York Fashion Week, Hadid walked the runway for some of the world’s most prestigious designers, including Zadig & Voltaire, Alexander Wang, Brandon Maxwell, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Prabal Gurung, Anna Sui and Ralph Lauren.

According to a recent Los Angeles Times article, the model will also appear in this year's Victoria’s Secret fashion show, set for Nov. 28.

Gigi Hadid Net Worth: $13 Million

Current "It girl" Gigi Hadid has modeling in her DNA, as her mother — former “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Yolanda Hadid — was a top model in the 1980s and 1990s. She took New York Fashion Week 2017 by storm in February, when she opened the shows of both Anna Sui and Jeremy Scott.

She’ll debut the fall Tommy x Gigi collection — her third collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger — on Sept. 19 in London. Hadid earned $9 million in 2016, according to Forbes.

Jourdan Dunn Net Worth: $13 Million

Discovered at a chain store in London when she was just 15 years old, Jourdan Dunn has been rocking NYFW for years. In February 2017, she walked in the Brandon Maxwell and La Perla fall shows.

Dunn made Forbes’ list of the highest-paid models in 2015, with $3.5 million in earnings for the year. An all-around fashionista, she launched athleisure line Londunn with Missguided in March 2017.

Karlie Kloss Net Worth: $16 Million

More than just a pretty face, former Victoria’s Secret Angel Karlie Kloss quit the lingerie company in 2015 to start classes at New York University. However, she left room in her schedule for NYFW, including an especially busy stint in February 2016, when she walked for Carolina Herrera, Diane von Furstenberg and Ralph Lauren, and opened and closed the show for Jeremy Scott.

Also a tech whiz, Kloss founded girls' coding camp Kode with Klossy in 2014. One of the top-earning models of 2016, Kloss made $10 million last year, according to Forbes.

Kendall Jenner Net Worth: $18 Million

Thanks to her family’s show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” the world has watched Kendall Jenner evolve from an adorable 11-year-old to a stunning and rich supermodel. During New York Fashion Week in February 2017, Jenner strutted the runway for Alexander Wang, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs and Anna Sui, and closed shows for both La Perla and Michael Kors.

In 2016, Jenner earned $10 million, giving her the No. 3 spot on Forbes’ list of highest-paid models.

Cara Delevingne Net Worth: $21 Million

The current face of PUMA’s “Do You” campaign, Cara Delevingne temporarily quit modeling in 2015 but came out of retirement in 2016 to walk for Chanel. It’s been awhile since the British model appeared at NYFW, but she did strut the catwalk for Marc Jacobs in September 2013.

Also an actress, Delevingne has starred in a number of films, including “Paper Towns” and “Suicide Squad.” She earned $8.5 million in 2016, according to Forbes.

Candice Swanepoel Net Worth: $25 Million

South African beauty Candice Swanepoel made a splash at NYFW in September 2015, when she tripped on the Givenchy runway. Like a true professional, she got up and finished her walk in style.

Continuing to impress, the Victoria’s Secret Angel returned to modeling lingerie for the brand in May 2017, just eight months after giving birth to her son. Forbes listed her 2016 earnings at $7 million.

Christy Turlington Net Worth: $30 Million

During the 1980s and 1990s, Christy Turlington was one of the most sought-after supermodels in the world. Certainly no stranger to NYFW, she walked the runway for Ralph Lauren in 1993.

When Forbes first started calculating model salaries in 1999, Turlington was one of five to be listed, with $7 million in earnings for the year. The brainy NYU alum wrote Karlie Kloss a recommendation letter for her alma mater and founded Every Mother Counts, a nonprofit focused on maternal health.

Naomi Campbell Net Worth: $60 Million

Discovered at age 15, Naomi Campbell has been modeling for more than three decades. She’s graced plenty of NYFW runways and walked for La Perla in February 2017.

Also an actress, Campbell recently appeared on several episodes of “Empire” and served as a coach on the reality series “The Face.” Forbes started calculating model earnings after Campbell’s heyday, but given her current net worth, she likely would have made the cut.

Adriana Lima Net Worth: $75 Million

Named a Victoria’s Secret Angel in 2000, the stunning Brazilian model is still wearing her wings 17 years later, making her the brand’s longest-running model. When she’s not performing her angelic duties, she makes time for NYFW, even walking in the September 2016 Marc Jacobs show.

Currently serving as the face of Maybelline, Vogue Eyewear and IWC watches, Lima ranked No. 2 on Forbes’ list of the highest-paid models for 2016, when she made $10.5 million.

Cindy Crawford Net Worth: $100 Million

One of the most iconic supermodels of all time, Cindy Crawford strutted the catwalk for Todd Oldham during NYFW in April 1994. A seasoned professional, she also walked the runway at the Esteban Cortazar spring/summer show in September 2003.

Crawford passed her good looks on to her lookalike 15-year-old daughter Kaia Gerber, who is now following in her mother’s footsteps with a modeling career of her own.

Crawford’s recent earnings haven’t been revealed. However, given her many business endeavors, the former model is likely doing well for herself. She currently has her own skincare line, Meaningful Beauty, and an interior design brand called Cindy Crawford Home.

Gisele Bündchen Net Worth: $360 Million

She retired from the runway in 2015, but Gisele Bündchen hit the catwalk at Alexander Wang’s February 2012 show, much to the surprise and delight of the crowd. By then, doing the model walk was second nature for the Brazilian beauty, who served as a Victoria’s Secret Angel from 1999 to 2006.

In 2016, Bündchen topped Forbes’ list of the highest-paid models with $30.5 million in earnings for the year.

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Over the last two years, Simons explored the dark side of the American pop landscape, the immigrant “outsider” experience, cowboy culture, the high school years, horror movies and the actual apocalypse with models walking the runway in hazmat suits, firefighter coats and Mylar accessories. His tenure had several bright spots, when one considers all the buzz the initial partnership brought to the house. Calvin Klein’s fashion shows were packed with A-list celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Brooke Shields, Julianne Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker, Millie Bobby Brown, Sofia Coppola, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Rachel Brosnahan and Cindy Crawford. Simons also dressed Saoirse Ronan, who was nominated for best actress, at last year’s Academy Awards.

Going forward, the game plan for Calvin Klein’s advertising is also changing, as reported.

Simons’ ads for Calvin Klein, which were heavily print-oriented, had futuristic and artistic overtones and featured androgynous, otherworldly looking models, a shift from the highly sexualized and controversial campaigns for which the brand was known. As reported, the company has adopted a new “consumer marketing organization” and a digital-first approach, bypassing print magazines. The concept is to accommodate the rapidly changing demands of today’s consumers with highly specialized teams focused on areas including consumer engagement and the shopper experience.

The company intends to change its investments to its core business areas, whereas previously too much was allocated to 205W39NYC collection and its advertising.

In January, the company also said it planned to streamline its North America division to become a more effective organization, including consolidating operations for the men’s Calvin Klein Sportswear and Calvin Klein Jeans business. The Calvin Klein retail and e-commerce teams will be integrated to create an omnichannel approach, intended to mirror how consumers browse, shop and purchase today.

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