Living Room

Calvin Klein has succeeded at translating design into decor.

Calvin Klein bedding.
Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD Milestones issue 09/03/2008

Calvin Klein has succeeded at translating design into decor.


When it comes to home, Calvin Klein has things covered.

Launched in 1995, Calvin Klein Home is now a $100 million entity at retail and includes bed, bath, tabletop/gifts, table linens, rugs, down and fabrics. This fall, the company will introduce designer upholstery fabrics in the U.S.

Tom Murry, president and chief operating officer of Calvin Klein Inc., said, “We are fortunate at Calvin Klein in that the brand is very strong and well known. We can go anyplace in the world and people have not only heard of it, but they can articulate what the brand image is.”

There is also something to be said for longevity. Unlike some designers who plunged into the home sector in recent years, Calvin Klein Home has been operating for some time. The company’s bed, bath and tabletop products were introduced in 1995; rugs made their debut in 2001, and table linens were rolled out in 2002.

Given consumers’ ongoing interest in “cocooning” and investing in their housewares, as well as Calvin Klein’s worldwide recognition, Murry said he expects the existing home business to increase by 10 percent this year.

As things stand, bedding and bath “really lead the charge” in terms of business, according to Bentley Hardwick, senior vice president of Calvin Klein Home. Many consumers have become wise to the notion that they can update their bedrooms simply by changing their bedding with more textural pieces or a different shade of a solid, she said, adding that buying new decorative pillows is another quick and easy change. Organic cottons and natural-based fabrics are other components driving the business.

The new upholstered fabrics will be made from a variety of materials, including velvet, linen, silk and mohair, with a selection of colors and textures. In step with the brand’s signature understatement, there will be offerings in grays and earth tones, as well, said Amy Mellen, creative director of Calvin Klein Home.

The company always has an eye out for new categories to pursue, and sterling silver, lighting, indoor and outdoor furniture as well as paint are among the possibilities, Murry said. Having sold its home line in Europe since 2001, the company is already comfortable selling overseas. Now there are plans to expand distribution of its soft home collection in Australia, Asia and the Middle East.

At this stage, there are no plans to open freestanding Calvin Klein Home stores, but Murry said he would not rule out the possibility. For the time being, the company’s retail strategy is focused on the 10 Calvin Klein Inc. stores that have opened in the past 12 months. Neither the Calvin Klein Collection store on Madison Avenue in New York nor any of the nine better stores sell the home collection.

The fashion house’s newly enhanced Web site provides another opportunity to expand the home business. Bath, bedding, dinnerware, flatware, barware, gifts, table linens and glassware are among the Calvin Klein Home items sold on the site, which recently added e-commerce.