This story first appeared in the February 27, 2017 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The company has named Luella Bartley head of global design for Calvin Klein Jeans. In this role, Bartley will oversee design of all Calvin Klein Jeans products globally to achieve one cohesive vision for the brand.
Kevin Carrigan, who resigned in August as global creative director of CKI, had been responsible for Calvin Klein Jeans, among other divisions. He joined Ralph Lauren as senior vice president, creative director, women’s Lauren and Chaps brands in January.
Most recently, Bartley was cofounder and codesigner of Hillier Bartley, a luxury ready-to-wear and accessories company. Earlier, she had a short stint as head of women’s rtw design at Marc by Marc Jacobs, prior to which she owned her own namesake line, Luella for more than 10 years.
Known for her quirky, punk-inspired, British style, Bartley shot to fame with her brand and became London’s darling. She developed a cult following and was the recipient of the “Designer of the Year” award in 2008 by the British Fashion Council as well as an MBE from Queen Elizabeth II in 2010. She also developed successful collaborations with brands such as Mulberry and Target. But Bartley lost her financial investor and her brand was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2009.
At Calvin Klein, Bartley will report to Pieter Mulier, creative director of CKI, and Franck Belochi, president of Calvin Klein Jeans Europe. The company declined to disclose where Bartley will be based. She lives in London with her partner, fashion photographer David Sims, and their three children.
Calvin Klein, whose global retail sales exceeded $8 billion in 2015, is well-known for its jeanswear, which has been one of the brand’s biggest apparel categories. The division has had its challenges in recent years, both in North America and abroad, but appears to be back on track. In December, Emanuel Chirico, chief executive officer of PVH Corp., parent company of CKI, noted acceleration in both the Calvin Klein Jeans and underwear categories in Europe, and strength in jeans in Asia. North American wholesale saw strength across categories from dress shirts to sportswear, jeans and “certain underwear business led by continued momentum in our women’s intimates business.”
PVH acquired the Calvin Klein Jeans business as part of its 2013 acquisition of Warnaco Group.
For years, Calvin Klein Jeans was well-known for its seductive and controversial advertising featuring models ranging from Brooke Shields and Kate Moss to Kendall Jenner and Justin Bieber. Earlier this month, Calvin Klein’s chief creative officer Raf Simons unveiled a spring campaign for underwear and jeans that juxtaposed those iconic items with modern and contemporary art. This month Simons introduced his women’s and men’s Calvin Klein Collection to extremely positive reviews from retailers and press.