Last night saw a pleasant mix of the who's who of Chicago, all out in the gorgeous Indian summer weather to toast the launch of the city's first Calvin Klein and Carson Pirie Scott pop up shop, hosted by Chicago Social (CS) magazine. Luckily I got there early, unaware of the mob scene that would ensue to get a sneak peak of the three day only shop's stunning wares. And if wandering through the clean, stark space perusing the racks with a flute of champagne wasn't indulgent enough, I got to sit down with Calvin Klein's Global Creative Director, Kevin Carrigan. Dapper and friendly as can be, Carrigan had tons to say about the brand new pop up shop, as well as all the gems that were offered inside.
SCS: First of all, this is an amazing space. Were you a part of its design?
KC: Well yes and no. The Calvin Klein architectural team designed and built the interior space but it was modeled after a press presentation I did in New York last November, as well as the ad campaign that surrounded it. The campaign was all set against this soft camel like on the walls here. With a collection as graphic and streamlined as the one being held here, we really wanted the color of the backdrop to pop. As for the benches and display shelves and boxes, those are all inspired by the American artist Donald Judd. I try to reference his work often because it holds the same type of linear and minimal aesthetic that I use to design the clothes.
SCS: What can you tell me about what went into designing this collection?
KC: Well this fall collection is all about shopping for every part of your wardrobe and your life. Its a cohesive line where each piece works wonderfully with every other. Stylistically, its not too trendy and not too classy but current. The shapes for the women's wear line are all about staying close to the body but in soft fabrics like ponte jersey, topical stretch wool and soft leather. Our X-Fit jean especially is universally flattering on every body type. I wanted the silhouettes to be modern but with a sense of aerodynamics. I wanted sexy but with comfort. And little things like hardware and distorted animal prints punch up the shapes and lend a certain urban toughness.
SCS: What do you hope to achieve with this limited time only shopping experience that the pop up shop offers?
KC: Well, I hope people will see this store as an exclusive experience. Prior to this, you could only get Calvin Klein at department stores and Carson Pirie Scott has the most Calvin Klein inventory of any other store in Chicago. So we thought, why not create this space to offer the full Calvin Klein experience. We've never merchandised like this before, where we've paired the denim with the dresses with the sportswear but we're really trying to create this lifestyle wear, with accessories so you can find pieces for every part of your life.
SCS: Is there a particular piece of group of items that are your personal favorite?
KC: I'm partial to the dresses. One, they are universally flattering. They come in stretch fabrics in all types of prints and jacquards. They just have a comfortable, clean look about them with a signature Calvin architectural shape. And two, they have a tactile softness. This season, I didn't want anything that wasn't soft. But that's the great thing, they don't look baggy or frumpy, they hold shape beautifully. And that's what makes them a great value. One of these dresses will take you through what we call a 7 day week. You're never overdressed or underdressed but always look pure and polished.
SCS: Thank you so much for your time and congratulations on a great launch!
KC: Thank you too! Now go shopping!
The Calvin Klein shop is located at 116 West Hubbard Street (between Clark and Lasalle) and will be open from 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. on Friday, October 1, 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 2 and 11:00 a.m.-6 p.m. on Monday, October 4 through Friday, October 8.
Photo Source: Second City Style
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