First look: Macy’s Brasil collection.
Asked what aspiring designers need to know most, in terms of business, Carrigan said he regularly comes across students who “want to be designer by tomorrow”.
“I’ve been in the business for 20 years, working on different projects that broadened me as an artist and yet also as a responsible businessman. I’m always visiting the stores, having meetings with the store designers and the advertising people, the photographers. Collaboration is extremely important in getting the best out of the best.
“So you try to stay focused in your own area but surround yourself with really smart people. It’s like an orchestra and I’m the conductor. Every season we have to move these products into the minds of the consumers, generating excitement over the innovations and new materials.”
He reckons that “strong brands like Calvin Klein will get stronger” because of their solid standing and products.
“If you don’t evolve and move on, you’re out. What happens in fashion is the mix and match. Especially in women’s wear there are so many things going on, so many influences, not just from the runways but also the bloggers.
“People are following the cool girls who do the blogging in Hong Kong, London, Brazil and New York. I feel like they’re interpreting and putting their own things together with colours and proportion.
“We’re coming into the spring and fall collections, playing with proportion, texture and colour. It’s going to be an interesting season for a year or 18 months. We’re going back to emotionally reconnect again with the clothes. How does it make you feel when you wear it? It’s about the feeling that the clothes give you, ultimately the sexiness, the form, function and beauty.”
Asked about “eco-fashion”, Carrigan pointed out that Klein uses “sensible fabrics”.
“The company has a strong belief in giving back to the community. We don’t use real fur, and we support good work ethics.”
And digital fashion?
“We have a Calvin Klein Facebook page and a fashion blog. The ck One campaign is a digital project aimed at 17- to 24-year-olds.
“Back in 1996 we did an e-mail campaign where consumers could correspond with our models. So our company is always at the forefront, whether it’s in product innovation, communicating or advertising, and we also evolve with our consumers constantly. It’s very revolutionary.”