Calvin Klein is marking the men’s underwear market with a big “X.”

This story first appeared in the November 19, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The latest offering from the designer brand, called Calvin Klein X, stands as the company’s boldest product in years. Distinguished by a wide waistband that is ringed with the logo in capital letters, the range highlights the brand’s continued focus on impactful design.

“We looked at our portfolio and thought it was time again for some graphic boldness and a little more fashion,” said Bob Mazzoli, chief creative officer for Calvin Klein Underwear, which is produced under license by Warnaco. “We liked the name ‘X’ because it seemed somewhat mysterious. Does it reference the Roman numeral 10 for 2010? Is it mathematical? We like the graphic quality of the letter too.”

In fact, Warnaco liked “X” so much the designers placed a patch on the waistband embossed with the letter to help promote the name. “We feel like we have a lot of equity in this line,” Mazzoli added.

The collection marks a return to the bold style and heavy branding Calvin Klein pioneered with the launch of Steel two years ago. Since then, the underwear division has steadily marched out new collections each season, launching Body, Pro Stretch and Black, which hit stores this fall.

The X line comes in two fabrications: cotton modal, which features a blue logo, and sporty microfiber, which has a red logo. The cotton product is available in hip brief, low-rise trunk, trunk, boxer brief, slim-fit boxer, crew neck T-shirt and lounge pants. Microfiber styles include a hip brief, a low-rise trunk, and a boxer brief. Both fabrications come in black and white with the cotton modal range also offered in tempest; microfiber also comes in crimson.

Cotton modal is priced between $22 and $40 at retail, while the microfiber will retail between $24 and $26.

Shipping Feb. 15, Calvin Klein X will be featured in the spring advertising campaign. No word yet if current faces for the brand’s underwear, Eva Mendes and Jamie Dornan, will reprise their roles.

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