Friday 2nd March

| BY Finn Blythe

Your First Look Inside Calvin Klein’s New Sterling Ruby Designed French Headquarters

CK1When it comes to designing anything but the clothes themselves, L.A based artist and long term collaborator and friend Sterling Ruby is Raf Simon’s most trusted consigliere. Pre-dating his tenure at Calvin Klein, Ruby’s vision has dovetailed that of Raf’s since 2012, grounding and contextualising his work through his set design, paintings and retail spaces. This latest rendezvous for Calvin Klein’s new Parisian Headquarters, the second time Ruby and Simons have worked on a store space together after their Madison Avenue makeover last year, once again immerses the customer in their shared imagination- a place of symbiosis between clothing and space and one that enlivens them both.

This historical, multi-floor building, complete with an overlooking mezzanine, will not only house Raf’s seasonal men’s and women’s runway collections, but importantly, will operate as the brand’s beacon in the world’s fashion capital, complementing their established presence in Milan. There’s an element of continuity at play too, with much of Ruby’s work taking its cue from previous installations for Calvin Klein in New York, including his redesign of the 12th floor at the company’s 205 W 39th Street global HQ. But this represents more than the old adage of not fixing things that aren’t broken, this is an anthology of the pairs’ creative journey together, a visual map of references that have shaped Raf’s vision for the brand. Vestiges of his brilliant sophomore outing for instance; suspended pom-poms, axes, buckets with baseball bats, hang from the ceiling, combined with Ruby’s signature red-splattered canvases, wrapped round columns and walls, remind us of Raf’s sinister vision of Americana. Forget Fashion Week, this place is worth a trip across the channel in itself. CK3 CK4 CK5