Fashion Week

Why We Can’t Wait to Offer Raf Simons’s Calvin Klein Debut

If you had landed in the middle of Fashion Week yesterday as the whole thing was kicking off, and if you had asked anyone what show they were really looking forward to, there’s every chance they would have told you: Raf Simons’s Calvin Klein debut.

Calvin Klein New York Womenswear FW17 New York February 2017

All images by Indigital Images

The Belgium-born former Dior designer’s stateside arrival is one of the most anticipated fashion developments of recent memory. We were all waiting to see what such a sensitive, thoughtful and visionary European creative director would do at the head of the storied and iconic American brand—just as nostalgia and hunger for the CK golden years hover at a fever pitch.

Despite the excitement, the mood on Friday morning at the brand’s midtown headquarters, where the runway show was staged, was relatively quiet and somewhat subdued. Tricia Smith, our executive vice president of women’s and designer apparel, reported a clean-slate white-on-white vibe in the room—which, she said, went well with all the white bandanas. (You’ve heard of Business of Fashion’s #TiedTogether movement? It’s a fashion industry initiative to band together and support basic human rights; white bandanas are the effort’s calling card.)

Tricia’s strongest impression was what she called Raf’s “bold color and American interpretation.” He’s often thought of as a minimalist, despite seeming to argue against that tag in the 2014 biopic Dior and I, and Calvin Klein itself all but defines this country’s stylistic minimalism. So the primary colors and punctuations of cutout, peek-through silhouettes felt like active yet polite refusals to be boxed in.

And fashion loved it all. His swirling, dynamic riffs on classic uptown prep and sporty stripes—set most memorably to a version of Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams”—were strong, confident and full of ambition. In other words, exactly what we want and need in 2017.

Nordstrom is excited to offer Calvin Klein’s designer collections by Raf Simons for men and women in the following stores: Downtown Seattle, Fashion Valley (San Diego), Stanford (Palo Alto), Pacific Centre (Vancouver) and Yorkdale (Toronto). For now, our slideshow presents some of the standout looks.

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Go where we go, see what we see: Stay up to date with all our Fashion Week coverage and shop curated collections of our favorite designers at Nordstrom’s Fashion Week Central.

—Laura Cassidy