- Kristopher Fraser |
With the departure of Raf Simons from Calvin Klein, the question is who will take his place, and what is the future of the creative and artistic direction of the brand. The minute any creative director leaves there's always speculation as to who could replace them next.
All eyes are on Kevin Carrigan, who recently left Ralph Lauren Corp. Carrigan spent 18 years at Calvin Klein as the brand's global director where he oversaw CK Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein Jeans, and Calvin Klein White Label, all cash cows for the company. Carrigan departed Calvin Klein two days after Simons was named the brand's creative director, and he was quickly hired as Ralph Lauren's senior vice president and creative director of the women's Lauren and Chaps brands.
Sources say that Calvin Klein is shifting its focus back to underwear and jeans after their high fashion experiment with Simons ended up falling flat. While it initially was a money maker and the fashion industry responded with Simons winning both the CFDA menswear and womenswear designer of the year awards, industry applause doesn't guarantee eternally strong sales. Calvin Klein already has plans to close their flagship store on Madison Avenue and rebrand the 205W39NYC line, which was their luxury label.
If Carrigan were to return to the workplace he spent 18 years of his life at, it's possible that he would be in a more scaled back roll than Simons was who had creative say in almost every aspect of the brand. Rather, he'd probably oversee everything exception the luxury label, and they might call in a very behind-the-scenes type designer to design Calvin Klein's high-end offerings. It was the business model similar to what they had before Simons arrived, but is there any sense in reinventing the wheel?
Carrigan's departure from Ralph Lauren likely was no coincidence, and Calvin Klein has kept the word mum on when a replacement for Simons will be named. Given that they'd like to go back to their core business, he would be a very sensible choice.