The House of Klein: Fashion, Controversy, and a Business Obsession

The House of Klein: Fashion, Controversy, and a Business Obsession

by Lisa Marsh
     
 

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A fashion world insider and journalist reveals the secret world of Calvin Klein
The House of Klein for the first time tells the inside story of the rise of a fashion legend and the mammoth empire he built. Calvin Klein is the world's most well-known (and successful) fashion designer and has created one of the most recognizable brands in existence, but the tale

Overview

A fashion world insider and journalist reveals the secret world of Calvin Klein
The House of Klein for the first time tells the inside story of the rise of a fashion legend and the mammoth empire he built. Calvin Klein is the world's most well-known (and successful) fashion designer and has created one of the most recognizable brands in existence, but the tale of his ascendancy to the top of the fashion industry has never been fully told. The House of Klein is the warts-and-all exposé of a boy from the Bronx who made his name synonymous with high fashion by making his brand synonymous with sex. This book offers an informed, insider's account of the defining moments of a fashion legend's life, a life circumscribed by personal and professional struggle. Fashion writer Lisa Marsh pulls no punches in presenting the true story of this mammoth of the clothing industry, complete with corporate battles, lawsuits, petty personal vendettas and backroom dealings. Marsh reveals the underbelly of the glittering world of high fashion-a world characterized not so much by beautiful people and wild parties, as it is by money and power, above all else. The House of Klein brings to life this compelling figure through the author's own research and interviews with the man himself, as well as with other figures in the industry-such as Isaac Mizrahi-who finally come clean about the man behind the brand.
Lisa Marsh (New York, NY) focused on the bottom line instead of the hemline while working at the New York Post covering the fashion and retail beat. A veteran of the fashion industry, she began her career in journalism writing financial news stories for the fashion industry bible Women's Wear Daily.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Throughout American fashion designer Calvin Klein's 35-year career, he has been "dogged by rumors about his sexuality, illnesses, illicit drug use and shady business dealings," writes New York Post fashion reporter Marsh, who presumably had a front-row seat. Nevertheless, this unauthorized book, which the author refers to as a "business biography," offers little inside information about any of these issues as it tracks Klein and his partner Barry Schwartz's success in creating and transforming Calvin Klein Inc. from a manufacturing company to a design, licensing and marketing firm, which in its last years was averaging earnings of about $3 billion annually. (The Company was sold to Phillips-Van Heusen in early 2003.) Marsh presents her material about the company's evolution in chronological order, exploring how it either tapped into or redirected American fashion trends over the past 30 years-including, of course, the placement of logos on everything from T-shirts to underwear. But she explains little about the man behind the initials - and even less about the people he interacted with. All the major players, in fact, are desc ribed in tabloid terms. Klein and Schwartz, for example, are repeatedly described as either the "scrappy" or "street-savvy" "duo from the Bronx." Rapper Marky Mark, who was featured in Klein's print advertisements for underwear and jeans, is "the boyish man." And Klein foe Linda Wachner, former CEO of the Warnaco Group Inc. (which licensed Calvin Klein underwear) is described as "the ball-busting blonds." Business readers looking for a quick history of the American fashion scene since 1970 may find this book appealing. However, general readers looking for lifestyles of the rich and famous will be disappointed. (Aug.) (Publishers Weekly, July 21, 2003)

"...your going to love the House of Klein..." (Harpers & Queen, September 2003)

"...it captures beautifully the long hours of hard work and the joy of success..." (Management Today, September 2003)

"...this book offers an informed, insider's account of the defining moments of a fashion legends life..." (Luton News, 10 September 2003)

[the book] "reveals fashion's bottom line". (USA Today, September 29, 2003)

"...this investigation of the controversial New York designer focuses on the business dealings..." (Hot Stars, 11 October 2003)

Publishers Weekly
Throughout American fashion designer Calvin Klein's 35-year career, he has been "dogged by rumors about his sexuality, illnesses, illicit drug use and shady business dealings," writes New York Post fashion reporter Marsh, who presumably had a front-row seat. Nevertheless, this unauthorized book, which the author refers to as a "business biography," offers little inside information about any of these issues as it tracks Klein and his partner Barry Schwartz's success in creating and transforming Calvin Klein Inc. from a manufacturing company to a design, licensing and marketing firm, which in its last years was averaging earnings of about $3 billion annually. (The company was sold to Phillips-Van Heusen in early 2003.) Marsh presents her material about the company's evolution in chronological order, exploring how it either tapped into or redirected American fashion trends over the past 30 years-including, of course, the placement of logos on everything from T-shirts to underwear. But she explains little about the man behind the initials-and even less about the people he interacted with. All the major players, in fact, are described in tabloid terms. Klein and Schwartz, for example, are repeatedly described as either the "scrappy" or "street-savvy" "duo from the Bronx." Rapper Marky Mark, who was featured in Klein's print advertisements for underwear and jeans, is "the boyish man." And Klein foe Linda Wachner, former CEO of the Warnaco Group Inc. (which licensed Calvin Klein underwear) is described as "the ball-busting blonde." Business readers looking for a quick history of the American fashion scene since 1970 may find this book appealing. However, general readers looking for lifestyles of the rich and famous will be disappointed. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471455639
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
08/18/2003
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.75(d)

Meet the Author

LISA MARSH has worked in the fashion industry for more than a decade. She began her career in journalism writing financial news stories for the fashion industry bible Women’s Wear Daily and its brother paper, DNR. She focused on the bottom line instead of the hemline while covering the fashion and retail beat for the New York Post’s business section and was a correspondent for Full Frontal Fashion Daily on MetroTV. She is also a regular contributor to the Australian newspaper. She lives in New York City.

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