Calvin Klein

“I’m crazy, and I don’t pretend to be anything else.” – Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein- The Designer:

Calvin Richard Klein was always interested in fashion. Coming from New York, he attended both the High School of Art and Design as well as New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. Starting in 1962, he began working in clothing stores throughout New York and did an apprenticeship under Dan Millstein. He opened his first store in 1968. He was a protege under Baron de Gunzburg, which is where his talents became popular and well-known for the fashion industry. After his first show was held in New York Fashion Week, Klein was easily recognized and sought after for his designs. He has been married twice and has one daughter. He is known for contributing and donating to the Democratic Party political causes. In 1969, he appeared on the cover of Vogue. In 1973, Klein was awarded his first Coty American Fashion Critics’ Award, then again in 1974 and 1975. In 1974, his signature jeans grossed over $200,000 in their first week of sales. Also during this year Klein received an award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America for outstanding design in men and women’s clothing. He was on International Best Dressed List in 1983. Klein was also awarded by the CFDA in 1981, 1983, and 1993. Klein has made television appearances in Seinfeld and 30 Rock.

Calvin Klein Inc.

Calvin Klein is best known for branding his name with his company, Calvin Klein Inc., launched in 1968, which includes clothing, underwear, denim, jewelry, fragrances, and accessories. The company’s headquarters is located in Manhattan in New York City. The first store, Calvin Klein Limited, opened in 1968, was a coat shop in New York. Then by 1971, Klein added sportswear, blazers, and lingerie to the women’s collection. Then by 1977, Klein added scarves, shoes, belts, sunglasses, and bed sheets to his line, and then added menswear, cosmetics, and jeans. The 1980s brought his underwear collection to success and has been successful to this day. Also starting in the 80s, Klein sold clothing in over 12,000 stores and in six countries. His annual income was more than twelve million dollars. Mark “Marky Mark” Wahlberg brougth the Calvin Klein underwear line to fame, which also helped an almost bankruptcy problem in 1992. Klein sold his company to Phillips Van Heusen Corporation in 2002. Calvin Klein products include the Calvin Klein Collection, ck Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein Sport, Calvin Klein Jeans, Calvin Klein Home, The Khaki Collection, Calvin Klein Golf, Calvin Klein Underwear, Calvin Klein Watches, Calvin Klein Jewelry, and fragrances by the Calvin Klein Cosmetics Company. A number of famous people have modeled for the company, such as Kate Moss, Kellan Lutz, Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes, and Justin Bieber. The monogram “ck” is branded to the company.





Credit: Calvin Klein


Tommy Hilfiger

“I think it is really important to have a sense of business. As a designer, you can get so wrapped up in the design and fashion side that you forget the business side.” – Tommy Hilfiger


Tommy Hilfiger- The Designer:

Thomas Jacob Hilfiger created one of the best worldwide known American fashion brands. Born in New York, started in the retail business at the age of eighteen. He started working at Brown’s, a shop in Elmira, New York, which lead him to open his open store near there called The People’s Place. After his store when bankrupt when he was 25, Hillfiger and his wife Susie moved to New York City where he opened more stores. Hilfiger even turned down positions with Calvin Klein and Perry Ellis. He founded the Tommy Hilfiger Corporation in 1984. The Council of Fashion Designers of America awarded him the Menswear Designer of the Year award in 1995. He sponsored Britney Spears’ Baby One More Time tour in 1999. In 2012 he was the fashion consultant for American Idol. Hilfiger has five children and has been married twice.

Tommy Hilfiger- The Brand:


Founded in 1984, this brand now sells products such as menswear, womenswear, children’s apparel, home decor, denim, and a number of accessories. The company’s headquarters can be found in the United States, Hong Kong, and the Netherlands. By 2004, the company had over 5,400 employees. The brand has a net income of over six billion dollars. The Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation has owned the company since 2010. Daniel Grieder is the current CEO for Tommy Hilfiger. Tommy Hilfiger product lines include Hilfiger Denim, Tommy Girl, Red Label, H by Tommy Hilfiger, Tommy Hilfiger for the Home, Tommy Jeans, and Hilfiger Athletics. Beyonce Knowles is the spokeswoman for the company’s fragrance True Star and True Star Gold. Enrique Iglesias is the spokesman for the fragrance True Star Men.





Credit: Tommy Hilfiger



Brothers Isak Andic and Nahman Andic founded the clothing and accessories company MANGO in Barcelona in 1984. The company grew quickly. The first MANGO website was formed in 1995 and the first online store was created five years later. Instanbul, Turkey, is the country that hosts the most MANGO stores. The headquarters is located in Palau Solità i Plegamans, in Barcelona, and MANGO has over 11,000 employees. There are MANGO stores in about 107 countries and over 2,000 stores worldwide. Models like Kate Moss and Miranda Kerr have been featured for ads for the company. Celebrities like Scarlett Johansson and Penelope Cruz have been seen wearing the brand. The first menswear line was launched in 2008 tilted H.E. by MANGO. The MANGO brand states their success is because of their belief in concept, their team, and their logistics system. The brand is Spain’s second largest textile exporter. The company works to help protect the environment, an example being their agreement with Greenpeace to commit to Detox initiative as well as restricting certain substances from their clothing. MANGO stores aim to have an enjoyably and comfortable environment for their customers to shop in and to create affordable clothing which adheres to the latest trends and ready-wear collections. MANGO offers accessories and clothing for both men and women.





My next MANGO purchase:


Credit: MANGO

Zara: AW14 Collection

222 Broadway South View - Zara.jpg zara

Founded in 1975, Amancio Ortega and Rosalia Mera created this international Spanish clothing and accessories company that would soon sweep the world. Zara is owned by the largest apparel retailer, Inditex. It is said that Zara has a zero advertising policy, focusing on store openings verses advertising. Daniel Piette, fashion director of Louis Vuitton, has said that Zara is “possibly the most innovative and devastating retailer in the world.” The first store was opened in Spain and held copies of high-end clothing fashions. By 1990, Zara stores were in the United States and France, adding Mexico, Belgium, and Sweden throughout the 90s. Now Zara stores are in over 88 countries and over 2000 stores. Zara clothing includes mens, womens, shoes, accessories, and a children’s line. The first online boutique launched in 2010 in the UK, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and France. Towards the end of that year, Zara Online included Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Austria. Then by the next year, the United States and South Korea were included. Zara now only makes fully toxic-free products after a controversy in 2011. A number of celebrities are known to wear Zara, including Dutchess Kate Middleton, Kim Kardashian, Eva Longoria, and Casper Smart.

Collection AW14:

Zara has launched the Autumn/Winter 2014 fashion lookbook. For women, clothes include outerwear, dresses, shirts, trousers, jeans, skirts, knitwear, t-shirts, shoes, handbags, accessories, and a nude collection. Men clothing offered are jackets, blazers, suits, trousers, jeans, shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, knitwear, shoes, and accessories. The collection also has lines for girls, boys, and babies. The collection is spectacular, especially for men. The calm colors and distinctly chic/classy styles can be worn fashionably by anyone.


Credit: Zara Collection AW14

Kenzo: The Eye of the Tiger

“Fashion comes from outside the mainstream. That is what makes fashion so interesting” – Kenzo Takada

Kenzo- The Designer:


Kenzo Takada is a Japanese fashion designer who founded the fashion house Kenzo. Always interested in fashion, he was one of the first males to attend the Tokyo’s Bunka Fashion College in 1958. He then traveled to Paris in 1964 after graduating fashion school. Kenzo had to use a mixture of patterns and fabrics because of finances until he started succeeding in 1970 when his first store, “Jungle Jap,” opened. The next year, his first collection appeared in Tokyo and New York. In 1972, the Fashion Editor Club of Japan’s prize was awarded to him. From then, Kenzo became known for his dramatic shows within the late 1970s, using elephants and circus tents. Kenzo Takada retired in 1999 but returned to working in 2005 but more with decoration and design.

Kenzo- The Brand:


Kenzo is a French luxury company founded in 1970 by Kenzo Takada. The brand includes clothing for men and women, fragrances, and beauty accessories like skincare products. The brand started out with just womenswear, adding mens clothing in 1983 and including childrens and home decor. The head designers of the company are Humberto Leon and Carol Lim. Thanks to the first Kenzo store, “Jungle Jap,” the brand is known for jungle-inspired clothing, like the signature tiger shirt. Kenzo shows are collaborated with music, artists, actors, and the 21st century. The brand works with the Blue Marine Foundation, helping with marine life. The Spring/Summer 2014 Kenzo collection proceeds went towards the foundation. Celebrities like Beyonce, Zooey Deschanel, Selena Gomez, and Spike Jonze has worn Kenzo clothing.





Credit: Kenzo

Hermes, s’il vous plaît!


The Beginning:

Established in 1837, this French based luxury brand produces anywhere from fragrances and high end clothing to accessories and Birkin bags. The founder of Hermes is Thierry Hermès, who started it as a harness workshop in Paris. His son, Charles-Émile Hermès took over the company, and with the help of his family, Hermes started offering their products to the most elite in places in Europe, Asia, Russia, and North America. After Charles, his son Émile Hermès really took over the company and brought it to the foundation it needed to become so successful today. Hermes started furnishing for the czar of Russia and is said to be the first to introduce the zipper in France. Hermes created the first leather golf jacket with a zipper. During the 1920s, the first accessories and clothing lines were formed for the company, such as in 1922 when the first leather handbag collection was introduced by Hermes. In 1929, the first womenswear couture apparel line was introduced. The 1930s brought about Hermes watches for both men and women. In 1935, the “Kelly bag,” named after Grace Kelly, was created. Then in 1937, Hermes scarves were released. The first Hermes perfume was called Eau d’Hermès and was produced in 1949. The horse and carriage logo started in the 1950s. Queen Elizabeth II worn a Hermes scarf in a postage stamp in 1956.

Back to the Top:

Jean-Louis Dumas brought Hermes out of a low point during the 1970s. He started selling products to Bloomingdale’s in New York. He changed the image for Hermes. The 1979 denim advertising for the company brought a new look for Hermes. By the 1990s, the Hermes family was listed on Forbes magazine’s list of billionaires. Jean-Louis Dumas retired in 2006 and passed away in 2010. Patrick Thomas replaced him and was the first non-Hermes person to lead the company. Hermes now sells clothing for men and women, watches, fragrances, gloves, tablewear, jewelry, footwear, cosmetics, and other accessories. As of 2012, Hermes doesn’t allow refunds on their products, only exchanges (within ten days of the purchase) and only for a different color for the piece. Hermes will remain a competing luxury brand for many years to come.

Celebrities in Hermes:






Credit: Hermes


Looks Like Louie

Louis Vuitton- The Designer:


One of the leading fashion houses in the world, Louis Vuitton proves to be an amazing company. It was founded in 1854 by businessman and designer, Louis Vuitton. Vuitton traveled to Paris as a teenager and began a career as a box-maker and packer. After just a few years, he was able to make a name for himself for his craft. He was hired under Eugenie de Montijo, who was the Empress of France as well as the Emperor of the French Napoleon III’s wife, as a her personal box-maker and packer. This job launched Louis Vuitton’s name into the royal and elite crowd. After opening his own shop in 1854, he produced his own line of rectangular shaped trunks in 1858. The brand then expanded beyond Paris and other designers began to copy the style. Louis Vuitton died on February 27th, 1892 and his son Georges Vuitton took over the company.

Louis Vuitton- The Fashion House:

“One thing that is exciting about fashion is the surprise element. People don’t know what they want. They just know it when they see it.” – Marc Jacobs, former Louis Vuitton Artistic Director


Louis Vuitton Malletier is a French fashion house founded in 1854 and is still successful today. The monogram LV is used on the majority of Louis Vuitton products, ranging from luggage, jewelry, accessories, shoes, and sunglasses. From 2006-2012, the brand was named the world’s most valuable luxury brand. The brand valued over 28 billion dollars in 2013. The use of brown and beige designs began in 1876 for the company. The first store was opened in London in 1885. Georges Vuitton broadened the company to become worldwide. In 1913, the largest travel-goods store in the world (at the time) called the Louis Vuitton Building was opened in Paris. From there, stores opened in New York, Washington, London, and Buenos Aires. The company came out with different bags such as the Steamer Bag, the Keepall bag, the Noé bag, and the Speedy bag. In 1936, Gaston-Louis Vuitton took over the company when his father passed. During World War II, French journalist Stephanie Bonvicini authored the book Louis Vuitton, A French Saga. The book wasn’t released until 2004. Starting in the 1900s, the brand started using leather in its products. The Monogram Canvas in 1959 was remodeled. The popular Papillon was launched in 1966 and is still popular. In 1978, Louis Vuitton opened stores in Japan. A store in South Korea was opened in 1984 and the Epi leather line began in 1985. The creation of LVMH happened in 1987. By 1989, the brand had over 130 stores worldwide. Yves Carcelle became the president of LV in the early 1990s and then the company expanded more into China. The Taiga leather line launched in 1993 and the literature collection of Voyager Avec… in 1994. The Centennial of the Monogram Canvas was held in a number of cities around the globe in 1996. Marc Jacobs was named Artistic Director in 1997. The next year, he introduced the first line of mens and womens clothing. The first African store opened in 2000. In 2001, Marc Jacobs worked with Stephen Sprouse on limited edition graffiti bags and in the same year, Jacobs designed the first piece of jewelry, a charm bracelet, for Louis Vuitton. The Tambour watch collection was designed in 2002. Marc Jacobs also worked with Takashi Murakami on the new Monogram Multicolore canvas which includes accessories and handbags. Murakami introduced the Cherry Blossom pattern as well. Also in 2003, stores opened in India and Russia. Stores were also opened on Fifth Avenue in NYC, in Mexico City, Cancun, and Johannesburg. The Damier Graphite canvas was released in 2008. Kim Jones became the head designer for menswear in 2011. The first Island Maison of Louis Vuitton was opened in Singapore in 2011. Darren Spaziani is the head of the accessories collection as of 2013, and Nicolas Ghesquière replaced Marc Jacobs the same year. Louis Vuitton is the world’s 29th most valuable brand. It is also one of the world’s most copied brands. Louis Vuitton luggage is still hand-made even today. The first LV airport store opened in 2011 at the Seoul Incheon International airport. Louis Vuitton marketing campaigns include stars such as Jennifer Lopez, Angelia Jolie, and David Bowie. The Louis Vuitton company will continue expanded and rising in the fashion industry.





Credit: Louis Vuitton