Kevin Carrigan has resigned from Ralph Lauren Corp., where he was senior vice president, creative director of the women’s Lauren and Chaps brands.
Prior to joining Lauren the designer was global creative director of Calvin Klein Inc. for 18 years, responsible for CK Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein Jeans and Calvin Klein White Label, which represented the lion’s share of the brand’s $8 billion business. He resigned his post two days after Raf Simons was appointed CKI’s chief creative officer in August 2016, while remaining three more months to complete the collections for 2017.
The development is sure to fuel speculation that Carrigan could help fill the void at Calvin Klein, now that Simons and his creative team have exited. However, it is understood that discussions between CKI and Carrigan haven’t taken place.
Carrigan is said to have left CKI on very good terms and is friendly with Emanuel Chirico, chairman and chief executive officer of PVH Corp., parent company of CKI.
“Working at Ralph Lauren has been an exceptional experience. I am grateful to have worked with an incredibly talented team including Ralph himself, who is a gentleman and a genius,” said Carrigan. He declined to say what his next move might be, other than that he plans to pursue creative opportunities.
Carrigan has been at Lauren for two years, leading the design teams and overseeing licensing for two of the company’s most widely distributed brands. He reported to the founding designer and Valérie Hermann, president of global brands at Ralph Lauren.
He will be succeeded by Toby Weaver, former senior design director at Lauren, who assumes the expanded role of vice president of design for Lauren. Weaver reports to Lauren Flusser, global brand president of Lauren. Heading design at Chaps is Christine Blaine, vice president, design at Chaps. She and the women’s Chaps design team report to Aru Kulkarni, president of Chaps.
While at CKI, Carrigan was one of five creative directors, each of whom oversaw different parts of the brand: Francisco Costa was creative director of women’s Collection; Italo Zucchelli, creative director of men’s; Ulrich Grimm oversaw men’s and women’s shoes and accessories, and Amy Mellen oversaw home. Except for Grimm, all have left the company. The others were replaced by Simons and his team, which included Pieter Mulier, who became creative director, reporting to Simons. Mulier was responsible for executing Simons’ creative and design vision for women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, as well as the bridge and better apparel lines and accessories. He also managed all men’s and women’s design teams within the Calvin Klein brand under Simons’ leadership, which ended in December.
Carrigan joined CKI in 1998 after having worked at Nicole Farhi and Max Mara in London. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Ravensbourne College of Design and Communications and a master of arts degree in fashion design from The Royal College of Art and Design in London.
Steve Shiffman, chief executive officer of CKI, outlined his “go-forward” plan on Thursday, which includes a name change for the 205W39NYC and a new design approach and creative direction. CKI also plans to consolidate Calvin Klein’s men’s sportswear with CK Jeans, and combine e-commerce and retail operations. Some 100 people lost their jobs throughout the business.
Further, the company said it has adopted a digital-first approach and introduced a new “consumer marketing organization” with highly specialized teams focused on areas such as consumer engagement and shopper experience. Shiffman said he looks to grow the Klein brand to $12 billion in global sales over the next few years.
In addition, the company said it was closing its 18,000-square-foot Madison Avenue flagship this spring, which had been reimagined under Simons with a floor-to-ceiling installation by artist Sterling Ruby to showcase the Belgian designer’s 205W39NYC collection. Ruby had transformed the boutique in June 2017 from its minimal design by John Pawson to an otherworldly installation consisting of bright yellow walls, industrial scaffolding and soft, tie-dye fabric sculptures.
Costa told WWD he was “deeply saddened by the news of the closure of Calvin Klein’s Madison Avenue flagship. What felt like more than a store but a sort of temple for modernity, designed by the incredible John Pawson, was deeply significant as a beacon of the city and brand’s culture. I feel grief and wish all the best to my former colleagues at Calvin Klein.”