There aren't many truly iconic brands that come to mind when someone says boxers or jeans. It's a pretty small pool. But one that Calvin Klein has pretty much dominated since day dot. Founded in 1968 as a coat and dress store in NYC, it wasn't until the early '80s that the brand made their foray into designer jeans and men's boxers, a move that changed their own fortune — grossing $70 million in a single year — as well as the underwear game forever. No longer were boxer shorts the plaid, baggy, spouse-bought holiday presents of yesteryear. These ones were slick, sexy and meant to be seen. This was a underwear revolution for guys.
CULT BRAND: CALVIN KLEIN
By Caroline Ferry, August 17, 2018
Although the company almost faced bankruptcy in 1992, it was the underwear line as well as its increasingly successful fragrance business (love you CK One) that pulled it back from the edge. Designer John Varvatos took over as head of menswear design, created the boxer brief AKA the boxer and brief hybrid we all know and love today. And just like that, CK turned it around, with a billboard and magazine campaign featuring Marky Mark alongside Kate Moss really sealing the deal, taking Varvatos' boxer brief to the world stage and changing the way men dress forever.
Like Hoover then Dyson are to vacuum cleaners, the fame and success of Calvin Klein underwear is such that the name Calvins has become synonymous with undies full stop. But what is it that has given the tight white wonders such staying power? Their now iconic pairing, with jeans of course. Name any hugely successful Calvin Klein campaign over the last thirty years that didn't have the boxers peeping out from under some true blues, huh? Marky Mark, Justin Bieber, even the latest Jenner Kardashian #MyCalvins campaign. The best thing about the CK smalls is that they were made to wear with denim — and we will always, I repeat always, want to wear denim.
So what's on the cards for this season then? The pants aren't going anywhere, you've just got more colors to choose from. The basics to wear them with, the jeans, sweaters and tees have all got an '80s logomania thing going on, using retro fonts all the bright colors. But if ever in doubt, may we recommend this. Jeans, Calvins, tee. Game over.