Calvin Klein buys wad of ads to sell his new jeans fantasy

August 28, 1991|By Woody Hochswender | Woody Hochswender,N.Y. Times

In a sign that the recession may be lifting on Seventh Avenue, Calvin Klein has taken 116 pages of advertising space in a single issue of Vanity Fair magazine.

The whopping advertising package, to appear in a separately bound supplement in October, is the largest industry executives could remember. In the 1970s Revlon bought 100 pages of advertising in Harper's Bazaar, to celebrate that magazine's 100th anniversary.

"It's certainly a record for me," said Klein, who was one of the first fashion designers to place multiple-page ads in magazines. "I felt I really had something to say, and the only way I could say it was in book form." Ronald Galotti, the publisher of Vanity Fair, must be on cloud nine.

The Klein supplement will be printed by Conde Nast Magazines, which owns Vanity Fair, using the same cover stock and paper that are used for Vanity Fair. All the ads will be for Calvin Klein Jeans, which in recent years have received far less promotion than Klein's fragrances.

Nothing much will come between Tina Brown and her Calvins: the advertising package will be poly-bagged encased in a plastic wrapper along with Vanity Fair. All the photographs were shot by Bruce Weber. The model is Carre Otis.

The cover will say Calvin Klein Jeans. Otherwise, no text accompanies the photographs.

"The photographs say it all," Klein said. "The theme is a fantasy rock concert, shot in San Francisco, and it revolves around sex, motorcyles and rock 'n' roll. Carre lives on motorcyles and hangs around with bikers. She lives the life style I was trying to portray. It's about the audience, it's about kids screaming for their modern heroes. It's on stage and back stage. It's like a movie."

Klein would not disclose how much he paid for the 116 pages, but he said he did not receive any substantial discount over Vanity Fair's regular rates. Industry sources have put the cost of the pages at more than $1 million.

"They're very suggestive and provocative," Klein said. "If I say that, trust me."


Defying decades of conventional wisdom, a group of American men's-wear manufacturers will be trying to sell traditional American tailoring in Paris at the world's largest trade show for men's wear.

It is safe to say that while Italian, German and British tailored clothing has flooded this country over the years, American manufacturers have had little success in exporting their products. It's a little like trying to sell oil back to Texans.

Among those who will be attending the Sept. 7-10 show, known as SEHM (for Salon International de l'Habillemente Masculine), will be executives from the Greif Cos., which manufacture the Perry Ellis line; Pincus Brothers-Maxwell, which makes Bill Blass; Botany 500; Racquet Club, and Adolfo. The five manufacturers will share the costs of exhibiting at the show in hopes of cracking the European market.

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