Calvin Klein’s corporate parent says its recent makeover is a bit too fashion-y. “We are disappointed by the lack of return on our investments in our Calvin Klein 205W39NYC halo business,” said Emanuel Chirico, the CEO of PVH, Calvin Klein’s parent company. Aside from the 205W39NYC collection, which – under the watch of creative director Raf Simons – has been dominated by luxurious fabrications and experimental themes (such as makeshift construction gear, complete with reflective stripes, plastic covered fur coats, and eye-catching band uniform wares), PVH is displeased with the newly-relaunched Calvin Klein Jeans segment, which “was too elevated,” and did not sell as well as planned as a result.
Despite its efforts to court high fashion shoppers by way of its Simons-designed 205W39NYC collection, which shows during New York Fashion Week, and its millennial-focused denim offerings (also a project of Simons’), Calvin Klein’s third-quarter earnings fell to $121 million, from $142 million a year earlier, “mainly due to an increase in creative and marketing expenditures,” per Reuters. As a result of “weakness in its Calvin Klein business,” PVH “missed Wall Street estimates for the first time in at least two years.”
According to WWD, PVH – the 137-year old American apparel conglomerate that brought Calvin Klein under its umbrella in 2002 – has outlined a plan to return to growth for Calvin Klein, the number 2 revenue-earning brand under its umbrella after Tommy Hilfiger, including cutting “investments in [Simons’] runway collection, as marketing budgets shift to influencers and more approachable messaging.”
The new strategic direction comes just over two years after Simons was appointed to the top spot of the Calvin Klein brand, in a new role that combined the formerly separate menswear and womenswear divisions. Simons had long been rumored to be taking the helm following his decision to step down from the creative director role at Christian Dior in the fall of 2015, and the subsequent departures of Calvin Klein’s womenswear and menswear directors, Francisco Costa and Italo Zucchell, respectively, from the brand in April 2016.
Simons, who has become one of fashion's most celebrated figures in fashion since his eponymous menswear debut in 1995, is known for his experimentation with Americana, youth, and music-reference themes, as well as his practice of artist collaborations, including, most recently with the Warhol Foundation for Calvin Klein.