Friday, May 31, 2024

Veronica Leoni Is The New Creative Director At Calvin Klein Collection

Veronica Leoni is the new creative director at Calvin Klein Collection, the PVH Corp-owned company announced today in a move that will see the brand return to the runway.

“We are proud to name Veronica as creative director of Collection, the pinnacle expression of the Calvin Klein brand,” said global brand president, Eva Serrano. “It was clear from our first conversations that Veronica’s life’s work had been preparing her for this moment and the opportunity to define a new era for Calvin Klein. I am confident that her purposeful approach to design and work ethic, combined with our shared values, will further enrich our iconic brand and result in a collection that resonates with our consumers around the world.”

Though she is little known, Leoni has quite the resumé. An Italian based in Rome, she is a veteran of Jil Sander, Phoebe Philo’s Céline, Moncler and The Row. She founded her own label Quira three years ago, and was an LVMH Prize finalist in 2023, at which time she described her style to Vogue as a “sharp point of view on femininity with an edge.”

Calvin Klein has been designer-less since Raf Simons exited the chief creative officer role in late 2018, but after several quiet years it’s been making headlines. Jeremy Allen White’s underwear campaign coincided with his awards show victory lap for The Bear, with both the actor and the company benefiting from the exposure, and the latter reclaiming some of the sexy heat that has long been a brand signifier. The K-pop stars Jennie Kim of Blackpink and Jungkook of BTS, meanwhile, are brand ambassador choices that are resonating with Gen-Z. And the company is also making inroads on the red carpet. Zendaya wore a custom Calvin Klein suit to the Rome premiere of Challengers, and a year ago the brand dressed the basketball player Brittney Griner, recently released from a Russian prison, for her first Met Gala.

In Veronica Leoni, Calvin Klein has put a woman in a top fashion job. That’s good optics at a time when a string of white male designer appointments has gotten the industry talking about a lack of diversity in design studios, and a dearth of women designers in leadership, in particular. And Leoni’s aesthetic could make her the right woman for Calvin Klein. Her taste for the classically minimal and her focus on tailoring are aligned with the brand codes honed by the house founder in his ’90s heyday.

“I’m thrilled and honoured to have the opportunity to write a new chapter of the Calvin Klein story,” said Leoni in a statement. “For decades, Calvin Klein interpreted the idea of bold self-expression, and I am willing to empower it with a strong accent on style and creativity. I’m deeply thankful to Eva Serrano for her vision and trust. My career has been marked by inspiring encounters with some of the most visionary women in fashion and she is one of them. I also want to thank PVH CEO Stefan Larsson for the amazing opportunity to celebrate one of the most influential brands of American fashion.”

According to the release, together with Serrano, Leoni will be also be responsible for taking inspiration from the Collection to the main line portfolio and the red carpet. Her first runway show will debut for autumn/winter 2025.

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