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Worlds Top Fashion Brands - Calvin Klein

On a world scale, American fashion designers don't often get a lot of credit for being unique and original. But with Brooklyn's own Calvin Klein, the stigma of Euro-influence disappears, and what you're left with is a fashion label that has grabbed the world's attention and refused to let go.

In the late 1940s, Klein began to develop a knack for sketching and sewing outfits for women. He would earn a scholarship to the New York High School of Art and Design, and the Fashion Institute of Technology. And the more impressive feat here is that America's tastes were decades behind Klein's talents, yet they were recognized by an ultra-conservative nation.

Soon after Klein finished with school, his childhood friend, Barry Schwartz, bankrolled his first fashion business. Klein supplied the creative genius in what would become a lucrative business relationship. The first products they introduced were coats for both men and women.

The first customer they ever had was the famous and posh Bonwit Teller of New York. After that first order of Calvin Klein coats, the brand name began to take off. Soon to follow were cosmetics, fragrances, dresses, and much more. Klein's style was a walking contradiction. His clothes were sheik and elegant, yet appealing to the "everyman" aspect of life. The pure attitude behind the line was its driving force for decades.

Although the brand was popular in New York, LA, London, and a few other key demographics, the "middling" parts of the world were unaware of Klein's unique take on fashion. When Klein decided to use America's favorite teen sweetheart, Brooke Shields, in a jeans ad, the brand immediately skyrocketed worldwide.

Calvin's new concept for designer jeans at an affordable price was the defining move of this mogul's career. Not only was Klein a revered name in women's fashion, but he catered to millions of average men with his rugged and affordable designs. He also brought in a new era of clothes for the metro-sexual male, including suits and vests.

Klein followed on the success of the Brooke Shields campaign with campaigns featuring Mark Wahlberg and Antonio Sabato Jr. Soon after, he redefined what it meant to be a designer by introduced a line of brilliant fragrances. Eternity, Escape, ck One, Contradiction, and Obsession respectively became top sellers in the men's and women's fragrance market. Calvin Klein is not a simple fashion designer - he's an institution.

From his first business in 1968, to his empire in 2008, Klein has turned the world on to a brand a fashion that no one thought was possible. His products are seen as "simple" designs that are available for everyone on any budget, yet they're also viewed as "complex" when scrutinized by some of fashion's toughest critics. Calvin Klein is perhaps the only brand in history to transcend every walk of life.