The Essential Calvin Klein

by MADDY MADISON · March 14, 2008


Calvin Klein airs his dirty, yet understatedly chic, laundry to Vanity Fair this month while posing pensively next to nude male torsos.

Tragedies (the kiddnapping of his daughter, multiple rehab stints) and joys (astronomical success, all the trappings of astronomical success) abound.The highlights:

The "Calvin Klein" Law: For those of us who missed the designer's bizarre on-court performance at Madison Square Garden, Vanity Fair recounts how Klein stumbled his way off the sidelines of a Knicks game to grab Latrell Sprewell and mumble incoherently in his ear before security guards subdued him: "Adding to the embarrassing public nature of it all, the New York City Council soon passed a 'Calvin Klein' bill, which increased the fines for unruly fans who interfere with games; one of the most powerful names in fashion was now associated with streakers and bottle throwers."

The much-storied sex life: Calvin is content to have lived out "a lot of my fantasies. I've experienced sex with men, with women. I've fallen in love with women. I've married women....I am for good or bad a real example of whatever I've put out there."

The genesis of the jeans empire: The origin of CK Jeans began in Studio 54 at 4 in the morning. Never let anyone tell you that nothing good happens after 3 am: " There [Calvin] was one night in 1977, dancing up a storm just before daybreak. 'I ran into this guy at Studio 54 at four o'clock in the morning who said to me, 'How would you like to put your name on jeans?' The music was deafening, and no doubt Klein had more than Perrier in his system, but he got the potential impact of the offer...."How would you like to make a million dollars?" "I heard him loud and clear."