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FIT Receives $2 Million Gift from Calvin Klein and Calvin Klein, Inc to Support Annual Fashion Show - FashionWindows

NEW YORK, Feb 10, 2012/ — The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City has received a $2 million gift from alumnus Mr. Calvin Klein, and the company he founded, Calvin Klein, Inc. Mr. Klein made a donation of $1 million, through the Calvin Klein Family Foundation, which was matched by a $1 million donation by Calvin Klein, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of PVH Corp. [NYSE: PVH].

The funds will support the college’s annual spring runway show, which showcases the capstone designs of students about to graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Fashion Design.

The fashion show is a professionally produced event that provides FIT students with the first opportunity to showcase their talents to industry professionals, established designers, and worldwide media. The 2012 runway show will be held on Wednesday, May 2 at FIT.

Mr. Klein said, “The annual FIT fashion show is the culmination of the very best of the fashion design students’ accomplishments during their studies at FIT. This fund is dedicated to ensure that the FIT fashion show will continue to be the students’ showcase to our industry without compromise. I am very proud that Calvin Klein, Inc. has joined my family foundation in this effort.”

Each spring, as a component of their graduation requirements, more than 150 Fashion Design majors entering their final semester design and produce a collection and have the opportunity to showcase one of their garments in their area of specialization: sportswear, special occasion, knitwear, intimate apparel, or childrenswear.

Noted designers work alongside FIT faculty in the classroom as critics who evaluate the students’ work and, ultimately, choose the most exceptional garments for special citation. Carolina Herrera, Narciso Rodriguez, Norma Kamali (Class of 1964), and Mr. Klein (Class of 1963) are among the critics who have served in recent years. Diane von Furstenberg and Amsale are among the designers who will be critiquing students’ work this year.

Calvin Klein is an award-winning fashion icon. He is recognized globally as a master of minimalism and has spent his career distilling things to their very essence. Today, the company he founded and sold to PVH Corp. in 2003, ranks among the best-known brands in the world; the Calvin Klein brand achieved over $7 billion in global retail sales in 2011.

Mr. Klein studied at the School of Art & Design and Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. After a short time working as a designer, he launched his eponymous business in 1968 along with his childhood friend, Barry Schwartz.

Whether in fashion, fragrance, beauty or his collections for the home, his work has been subtle, sophisticated, possessing a clarity that redefined modern living, and an American point of view. For him, the challenge is to create new things that fit a modern way of life. “It’s about making people look and feel good about themselves and their homes,” he has said.

The scope of Calvin Klein’s influence makes him unique among the world’s top designers. Always on the cutting edge of fashion, he reinvented many basic icons of modern dress. He pioneered designer jeans and redefined the idea of underwear and fragrance, making designer quality apparel affordable for virtually anyone, as well as revolutionizing the designer denim and underwear businesses with his overtly sexy advertising campaigns.

Those campaigns redefined the way products were marketed to consumers and he was among the first to purchase multiple ad pages in magazines. One of the most famous was his 1991 Calvin Klein Jeans supplement for Vanity Fair magazine, which totaled over 100 pages.

Time Magazine, in 1996, named Calvin Klein as one of the most influential Americans.

In 1973, Mr. Klein won the prestigious Coty American Fashion Critic’s Award, the fashion industry’s Oscar, and was the first designer to win the award consecutively, receiving it again in 1974 and 1975. He was the youngest designer ever to be elected into the Coty Hall of Fame in 1975.

Mr. Klein also received seven awards for outstanding design from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, including a Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed in 2001.

Mr. Klein has one daughter, Marci Klein, a television producer. He resides in New York City.