Calvin Klein Hires First Woman To Lead Brand

Calvin Klein, whose head-turning celebrity-featured ads span the decades from Brooke Shields (circa 1980) to current day efforts featuring Jeremy Allen White, has hired a new creative director. 

The brand announced it will restart its high-end Collection business under a new creative director, Veronica Leoni, along with a return to the runway in 2025, according to WWD, which broke the story.

Leoni will be the first named designer Calvin Klein has had in five years and the first woman to lead the brand. 

“She is one of the few women to be appointed to the top of the creative side of a major brand in the last year, when most of the big jobs have been given to white men,” per The New York Times.



Eva Serrano, the global brand president of Calvin Klein, says the market and the industry have changed, and the consumer is more eclectic.

Leoni has an extensive resume. 

“An Italian based in Rome, she is a veteran of Jil Sander, Phoebe Philo’s Céline, Moncler, and The Row,” notes Vogue. “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.’”

Putting a woman in charge is good optics, notes Vogue, and comes 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.”

Leoni’s 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,” per Vogue

The timing of the appointment is not insignificant. 

“Her appointment reflects the fact that jeans and influencers may not, actually, be enough to sustain a global name even in the era of social media — that an actual design point of view may be necessary,” according to The New York Times

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