Reborn in the USA: Raf Simons unveils Sterling Ruby-designed Calvin Klein flagship
Raf Simons’ reworking of the Calvin Klein brand reached a new high with the reopening of its Madison Avenue flagship space in New York City. Coinciding with the arrival of Simons’ debut collection in store, the three-storey space – originally designed by John Pawson – has been transformed with an immersive floor-to-ceiling installation by the American artist Sterling Ruby.
The artist’s concept for the boutique plays off two other interiors projects he’s previously created for the label – the 12th floor showroom and the ground floor space of its 205 West 39th Street headquarters. It also echoes the brand’s new space at Dover Street Market New York. Filled with artfully arranged scaffolding, hanging sculptures by Ruby and awash with bright, traffic-sign yellow, the boutique’s interior is charged with a transient feel that straddles both realms of art and industry.
Calvin Klein’s NYC boutique is flush with dazzling traffic-sign yellow. Photography: Elizabeth Felicella/Esto Photographics
Ruby’s sculptures, which are made up of everyday objects and materials, also occasionally feature Calvin Klein’s 205W39NYC logo, reiterating the Peter Saville-designed moniker for Simons’ new vision. Vibrant, youthful and concurrently capturing the gleam and grit of American culture, the boutique visually epitomises the progressive energy of the iconic brand.
Filled with Simons’ A/W 2017 men’s and women’s collection for the label, and new denim, underwear and accessories offerings, the boutique brings the previously disparate facets of Calvin Klein’s universe effortlessly under one roof. A specially selected assortment of home objects, which include Homer Laughlin coffee mugs, ceramic vessels by ceramicist Rose Cabat and vintage Italian glassware, are mixed in throughout the store. One-of-a-kind vintage quilts also serve as a contemporary foil for the brand’s new all-white bedding collection.
Simons says, ‘I wanted the store to generate a very immediate physical experience that could as well be intimately connected to the collections. It is also a continuation of the language I am creating with Sterling for Calvin Klein’s visible and physical identity.’