Calvin Klein started with $10,000 in 1968, and today earns billions of dollars in revenue every year. The controversial brand has become one of the most recognizable fashion labels on the planet.
In 1980, a 15-year-old Brooke Shields cooed that "nothing gets between me and my Calvins." CBS refused to air the spot but the campaign made the model and the designer household names.
Though his business is clothes, Klein is perhaps best known for his racy ads for fragrances and undies, which always managed to embrace the next big thing -- and infuriate the establishment in the process. This controversial Obsession ad from the 90s features then barely known model Kate Moss.
Parent groups routinely decried the raunchy ads targeted at teens, like this 90s TV ad that sent sales of the popular CK One fragrance skyrocketing.
Called "child-porn" by youth advocates, this racy 1995 billboard was publicly condemned by President Clinton. It was quickly pulled, but solidified Klein's reputation as a provocateur (and sold a lot of jeans).
Playful, or pedophilia? Four years after the CK Jeans scandal, Klein claimed these children's underwear ads captured the "warmth and spontaneity" of a family photo album -- but the American Family Association called them pornographic. A mere 24 hours after their release, the ads were yanked.
Before Mark Wahlberg was hanging with an "Entourage" his crew was the Funky Bunch and he was best known for dropping his pants, grabbing his crotch, and posing in his Calvin Klein skivvies.
If he didn't shoot them in their skivvies, the designer dressed the young and gorgeous when they were in character. Alicia Silverstone rocked this barely-there CK ensemble in the 1995 movie Clueless. "It's a dress," she told her on-screen dad (played by Dan Hedaya). "Says who?" He stammered -- to which Silverstone famously replied: "Calvin Klein!"
Klein has never been one to shy away from scandal. The designer is credited with discovering superwaif Kate Moss and turning her into a supermodel in the 90s. When she was busted for cocaine in 2005, he promptly put her to work on another campaign.
You know you've arrived when someone writes an unauthorized biography and "Obsession: The Lives and Times of Calvin Klein," which was published in 1994, chronicled not just the designer's rise to fame, but all the drugs, alcohol and promiscuous sex that came with it. The book stopped just short of calling Klein a closeted homosexual and implied his marriage to second wife Kelly Rector was a sham. They divorced in 2006.