The Calvin Klein brand is known for its minimal and scaled back look. This aesthetic has ruled the house since Mr Klein himself began selling jeans and underwear, and it's visible in today's high end fashion versions á la Francisco Costa and Italo Zucchelli. The ck Calvin Klein line, a younger and more accessible diffusion line, is designed by Kevin Carrigan, a Calvin Klein veteran with over 12 years experience of that typecast style. No wonder then that for S/S12, Carrigan felt like breaking out and adding a new aesthetic layer to the collection.
I was very much feeling the 2012 up and coming Olympics in London, but I was also interested what’s happening in Europe right now, politically and obviously austerity wise
Bold is all about colour - as seen in these images and exclusive video on Dazed Digital today. Introducing new face Matthew Terry, ck Calvin Klein Bold line not only offers bright green, blue, red and yellow jeans but also a new line of equally colourful underwear. Terry, a 20-year-old personal trainer from Philadelphia, is exclusive to ck Calvin Klein for a year and is sure to make a colourful mark, as seen in these Steven Klein-shot images. In a rare interview, we caught up with Carrigan during Milan Menswear week where the brand was presenting its new autumn collection...
Dazed Digital: How would you define the CK Calvin Klein line?
Kevin Carrigan: It's the designer diffusion line to Calvin Klein Collection, very accessible in price point, but my feel of it was definitely to give it a sense of elegance, and a sense of an environment, so when people came in they felt the environment and this idea of the warmth of the fabrics as I've said, and the coziness of the fabrics, and this idea that also, kind of the fact that they’re young kids wearing their dad’s clothes for the first time and they’re discovering like a cashmere jacket, or a flannel jacket… and they’ll go in their own way and personalize it, but I wanted to show it in that way.
DD: What can you say about the S/S12 Bold collection?
Kevin Carrigan: I was very much feeling the 2012 up and coming Olympics in London, but I was also interested what’s happening in Europe right now, politically and obviously austerity wise. I think that the Olympics will be really good for Europe, I think it will be a varied way of bringing a lot of people together, a lot of movement, a lot of travelling around, a lot of tourists, and it will generate a lot of, I think, a lot of good things for designers and retailers.
The reason we chose Matthew Terry was because I didn't want a celebrity, I actually wanted more of an athletic body, a diver, or a swimmer
DD: So all the bright colors, the sense of optimistic…
Kevin Carrigan: The reason we chose Matthew Terry was because I didn't want a celebrity, I actually wanted more of an athletic body, a diver, or a swimmer, or the starting point of bold, and that’s why you ended up with Steven Klein shooting that campaign in the way that he shot, was thins kind of heroic sportsman, but I was definitely looking more into divers, than anything else, because I really like that idea of more controlled sports.
DD: It’s still a bit of a carte blanche to go out and push the limits, push the boundaries on a few things, to call it Bold, right?
Kevin Carrigan: Yes, I think that having that, it does lend you to what might be bold technology-wise, what else would I put focus on next, not just bold colour. I think you’re absolutely right, I think that as a word and a field can be applied to lots of things, I agree with you.
DD: So, the Bold collection just consists of jeans and underwear?
Kevin Carrigan: Well, in the beginning we wanted to really focus on, especially in the underwear, this kind of bold, athletic, bright colours. We’re a house know for black, white, grey, I felt it was a really important time to be very positive, very optimistic, and again it’s celebrating the heroic and the athletic, and that’s why the placement of the logo is also on the what I call the Olympic one-side, when if you look at old Olympic statues, the Greek statues, the disk player had that hip swing, that hip twist always on the left hip, you know, the javelin throwers would be twisted… so it was also that way of the twist, inserting the logo where it comes from the other way around, I thought that was kind of an interesting placement.
DD: So this is you sports colllection, an ode to the Olympics?
Kevin Carrigan: They were all the references that we started from, and then from the bold underwear and using the bold colour. Funnily enough, I've seen other people’s Spring/Summer campaigns, and they’re quite dark. If you look at all the other luxury houses’ campaigns, it’s quite a moody atmosphere, quite a dark atmosphere, I think the fact is there was the water in our jeans campaign, and just the idea of that great day in the sunshine and how it makes you feel after you've come home from the beach, there’s that slight euphoric sense of ‘what an amazing day I had’. And if you can have that when you look at a picture in a magazine, and you buy a piece of clothing, that kind of sense of optimism and euphoric sense that we all crave, I mean…
We’re a house know for black, white, grey, I felt it was a really important time to be very positive, very optimistic, and again it’s celebrating the heroic and the athletic
DD: So who are you really talking to in this instance then? Is this a continuation of your current kind of costumers or is sort of angling towards new kind?
Kevin Carrigan: I think with Bold I’m saying to my customer, who has bought our look for years, it’s ok if you want to use a bright coloured piece of underwear in the summer - it’s not everydayweaer, we didn’t promote this is a 365-days-a-year wardrobe. This is something bold, if you're you’re a Calvin Klein kinda guy but still wants to buy bright apple green underwear and wear them with white jeans because you’re going out for the evening, it’s cool to do it, do it!
DD: What can we expect from A/W12 Bold?
Kevin Carrigan: I was inspired by the surfaces of liquids, the jeans had a liquid surface printed on top of them to make it feel like leather, like the leather of a sofa or a piece of furniture, and then the women’s had like a liquid metal finish on top so it was glistening, and then the underwear was like a poly-cotton beautiful sheen, with a metallic waistband with Calvin Klein embroidered on the side, which is a new direction of Bold, so bold metallics.