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Shiffman and Simons fashion global vision for Calvin Klein

Shiffman and Simons fashion global vision for Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein CEO Steve Shiffman took the stage on the Cannes Lions Beach yesterday to discuss the challenges of running an iconic fashion brand with a global footprint and $8.5bn in revenues.

For Shiffman, who took up the CEO hot seat three years ago after running the company’s global commercial operations, a core priority has been “trying to centralise the company’s creative approach while at the same time respecting regional autonomy. When I started we had seven creative leaders around the world. Trying to coalesce that into a common vision was a Herculean effort. The culmination of that process was the appointment of designer Raf Simons as chief creative officer in August 2016.”

 

Although Simons is Belgian, Shiffman says the two of them are now united in a strategy that is about “bringing us back to our Americana roots. It’s about what it means to be a US brand in the modern age.”

 

Shiffman warmly praised Simons, who has been allowed to maintain his own fashion line despite working for CK: “He’s a bright man, a quick learner and really connected to youth and culture.”

 

CK has always been known as an outstanding marketer, something Shiffman said linked back to the founder’s own instincts: “Calvin really knew how to connect with the zeitgeist. Brands like ours need to take risks and he was never afraid to make waves. Marketing is the soul of a company come to life, the way it connects with consumers.”

 

While the company is probably best known for its iconic TV and print campaigns, Shiffman said the company now spends more than half of its marketing money on digital media “and that is going North. The days of imposing ideas are over. Brands need to have a dialogue with audiences and there is no better place for that than social media.”

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LIONSDAILYNEWS2017
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