Calvin Klein is proud of the fact that he built an empire without the aid of social media.
The New York-based fashion designer founded his company in 1968 and has won an enormous global following with his classic sportswear, denim, formal and underwear lines.
Appearing at the Mint Luxury conference in Mumbai, India over the weekend (27-28Mar16), the 73-year-old designer said that while he still loves working in fashion, the industry has changed over the years.
“I used to get great pleasure discovering models, finding young women and men who had never modelled before, and took them on trips around the world,” he told WWD. “But now, it’s the world of the Kardashians, and people are interested only in how many followers a model has on social media and that’s how they negotiate her or his fee. I am happy that I built a global brand without social media.”
Klein explained that he was now more focused on working with the next generation of upcoming designers and helping the industry move forward.
He has recently addressed students at several universities, including Harvard’s Graduate School of Design in the United States and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.
“I still have a passion for the business, but now my passion is to give to people who are interested in managing a company, marketing, designing,” he said, adding that he has a unique perspective in that he founded his own company and was in control of his brand’s creative vision for many years.
Klein also spoke about his trip to India and said he noticed the expansion of luxury retail stores in many cities, and felt inspired by the rich colour and fabrics sold by vendors “that you can find nowhere else”.
“Those colours are right for certain parts of America, too, where the climate is very warm, or for certain seasons, where it is resort or summer,” he said.
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