cult of personality

What We Learned From Calvin Klein’s ‘Vanity Fair’ Profile

Oh, crazy Calvin.Photo: Getty Images

The April issue of Vanity Fair has a lengthy profile (as VF profiles are wont to be) of Calvin Klein written by Ingrid Sischy. We imagine you’re busy, fabulous people, and are no doubt pressed for time, so we took it upon ourselves to read it so you won’t have to. Since Klein sold his company five years ago, he’s been spending his days in retirement renovating his mansions. We know — not very interesting. So we cut the rest of the fat and present you with the good bits:

Klein has a law named after him. On March 24, 2003, Klein stumbled onto the basketball court during a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden. He tried to strike up a conversation with Latrell Sprewell while he was playing basketball, who didn’t know it was Klein (not that that should really matter). The New York City Council then passed the “Calvin Klein” bill which created harsher punishments for unruly fans at sports games.

Klein got laid a lot, but just Klein. Sischy writes she could have spent a whole page listing the differences between Klein and his business partner and best friend from age 5, Barry Schwartz. She chose to highlight just this: Klein got a lot of ass, and Schwartz didn’t.

Klein walked a mile and a half to show his clothes once. Gasp! For Klein’s first meeting with a buyer, he wheeled his clothes on a rack from Seventh Avenue and 37th Street to Fifth Avenue and 56th Street. He didn’t want his clothes to get wrinkled in a cab and proved fashion people can indeed walk.

Klein shared a “love shack pad” with an “old friend” after his first divorce. She says they once spent two nights in a row trying to get the perfect cut on a bathing suit. Romantic.

Klein stalks people he wants to hire. Klein needed a new company president in the nineties and had his eyes on Gabriella Forte, who then worked for Giorgio Armani. He got her by waiting outside her house in Milan so he could make her an offer in person. She accepted. Creepy yet effective.

Klein wore thick socks to hide his skinny ankles. Enough said.

Nightlong partying brought good things to Klein. The designer frequented Studio 54 a lot. One night after he had been dancing on a table all night, a guy came up to him and asked him if he wanted to make jeans. He said yes. Enter 15-year-old Brooke Shields.

Brooke Shields still can’t shake those Calvin Klein commercials. She says people still come up to her and say stuff to her about her “Calvins.” People can be stupid and annoying, yes.

Klein is bisexual. He says, “I’ve experienced sex with men, with women.” Funny how the word “experienced” makes it seem akin to a vacation, but if he’d said the word “had,” we would have imagined a wild Studio 54 orgy. Huh.

What We Learned From Calvin Klein’s ‘Vanity Fair’ Profile