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Raf Simons Next at CK? 'The Whole Industry Knows,' Calvin Klein Says

Raf Simons CK

The brand's legendary founder talks to WWD on designer rumors, celebrity campaigns, and the future of Calvin Klein

In a rare interview, Calvin Klein, the designer, opened up about the recent changes at the company he created.

Speaking with WWD, Klein hinted the rumors of a potential creative takeover by Raf Simons, who left Dior last year, might be true. While Klein didn't specifically mention Simons, a few clues point towards the Belgian designer's direction.

Klein said an announcement will be made "no later than early August." Meanwhile, Simons' non-compete agreement with former employer LVMH, owner of Dior, is said to expire at the end of July, conveniently.

Calvin Klein's two lead collection designers, Italo Zucchelli and Francisco Costa, stepped down together in April, probably to make way for a new design direction: "When someone new comes in, you can expect changes. It's natural," Klein says.

RELATED: Italo Zucchelli's 10 Favorite Looks at Calvin Klein

The designer also spoke to Andy Cohen at Sirius XM, talking about the company's latest re-brand attempts, which included a much-critized campaign with Justin Bieber. Although Klein considers the Bieber campaign to be a winner, he told Cohen "it's been a long time since [he] saw something exciting."

Klein continues, hinting again that Raf Simons's name is --rightly so-- on every fashion insider's lip:

"They just finally made changes in the design staff. They are doing something that I had hoped they would have done, which is replace me. Find someone who can with a singular vision oversee everything that is creative. They won't announce [who it is] publicly because it's under contract. But the whole industry knows."

Later in the interview, Klein remembers discovering a young Mark Wahlberg on the cover of Rolling Stone ("His body was perfection, little, but the proportion... And he had this appeal. He was a boy-girl when he was very young, kind of androgynous but sexy") and talks about his disco days at Studio 54.

Klein also speaks about Kanye West (or rather, he doesn't: "I don't think about that --not at all") and reveals he's been working on a series of coffee table books with Rizzoli (he has spent the past year editing 40,000 images) due in fall 2017.

Read the full interview at

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