Calvin Klein was born in The Bronx. He attended the High School of Art and Design and matriculated at, but never graduated from, New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, receiving an honorary Doctorate in 2003. He did his apprenticeship in 1962 at an oldline cloak-and-suit manufacturer, Dan Millstein,and spent five years designing at other New York shops. In 1968, he launched his first company with a childhood friend, Barry K. Schwartz.
He became the toast of the New York elite fashion scene even before he had his first mainstream success with the launch of his first jeans line. Klein was immediately recognized for his talent after his first major showing at New York Fashion Week.
In 1974, Klein designed the tight-fitting signature jeans that would go on to gross $200,000i n their first week of sales. In the same year, Klein became the first designer to receive outstanding design in men’s and women’s wear from the CFDA award show.
In 1983 Klein was placed on the International Best Dressed List.
Also in 1981, 1983, 1993, he received an award from Councils of Fashion Designs of America.
Product lines under the various Calvin Klein brands include women’s dresses and suits, men’s dress furnishings and tailored clothing, men’s and women’s sportswear and bridge and collection apparel, golf apparel, jeanswear, underwear, fragrances, eyewear, women’s performance apparel, hosiery, socks, footwear, swimwear, jewelry, watches, outerwear, handbags, small leather goods, and home furnishings (including furniture).