Photograph: Kevin Tachman/BackstageAT
What’s your best memory since you began heading up Calvin Klein?
When I received cheers and applause in the middle of my spring 2009 runway show, after I sent out three fluorescent looks in a crescendo of intensity. Everybody backstage had tears in their eyes, but I couldn’t cry because I had to take my bow. Instead I started jumping with joy.
What’s the weirdest thing that ever happened during one of your shows?
For spring 2007, I featured some models wearing long Lycra swimsuits with nothing underneath, of course. The audience gasped the moment the first model came out, and everybody was talking about it until the end of the show. It caused quite a stir in the room.
Did you ever think for a minute that everything might fall apart?
Never, thank God.
What piece are you proudest of?
The red fluorescent suit that got such a big reaction in 2009. But I’m proud of all the looks that translate into big statements on the runway and end up being coveted pieces people want to wear. That’s what fashion is all about.
Who best epitomizes the Calvin Klein brand?
Any man who is confident, has character and personality, and dresses in clothes that make him look and feel good. My favorite models from the last 10 years all started their careers in my runway shows — AJ Abualrub, Dmitriy Tanner, and David Agbodji. One of my new favorite models is Clark Bockelman, who opened and closed my last show in Milan. All of them embody my ideal of the Calvin Klein Collection man.
What’s the ultimate fashion faux pas?
Forgetting who you are and wearing clothes that have nothing to do with your personality.