Calvin Klein is shuttering its 205W39NYC collection business, leaving hundreds of employees out of work.
In January (19), the company had announced plans to relaunch 205W39NYC under a new name, creative direction and design approach, following the departure of chief creative officer Raf Simons.
However, according to editors at WWD, the label has “changed its mind after a thorough review of the entire business” and “has opted to get out of the collection business altogether”.
Following the drastic decision, 50 employees in the New York office and 50 in the Milan office were let go, with Klein planning to shut down the Milan unit completely.
As part of the shake-up, Michelle Kessler-Sanders, president of Calvin Klein 205W39NYC and Calvin Klein by Appointment, will also be leaving the company. It was also reported by WWD that Kessler-Sanders will be staying with the company until June to help the closing down transition, and “may continue to work in an advisory capacity beyond that”.
Calvin Klein by Appointment’s business unit is also set to be shuttered, but a source told the fashion publication that the offshoot “will continue to dress talent and celebrities”.
Simons, who announced his departure from Klein last December, had launched 205W39NYC in 2017, with the label’s parent company PVH Corp. investing between $60 million and $70 million in the business since then – but PVH chairman and chief executive officer Emanuel Chirico later admitted the group saw no return on their investment.
Following Simons’ announcement of his exit, Calvin Klein chief executive officer Steve Shiffman stated that the 205W39NYC label would be relaunched under a new name.
“The new business will focus on connecting directly to all of the other Calvin Klein brands and amplifying each category with unique products and aspirational experiences,” Shiffman said in a memo at the time. “The relaunched business will be designed to evolve the traditional luxury fashion model by connecting with a diverse range of communities, offering an unexpected mix of influences and moving at an accelerated pace.”

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