Calvin Klein Will Return to the Runway With New Creative Director Veronica Leoni

Photograph by Collier Schorr

Veronica Leoni has been named as the new creative director of Calvin Klein. The PVH Corp.-owned label announced the news on Thursday in a midnight press release. This, of course, also means that the stories American fashion house is returning to the runway in 2025 after a five-year hiatus.

“It was clear from our first conversations that Veronica’s life’s work had been preparing her for this moment and the opportunity to define a new era for Calvin Klein,” said Calvin Klein Global Brand President Eva Serrano in a statement. “I am confident that her purposeful approach to design and work ethic, combined with our shared values, will further enrich our iconic brand and result in a collection that resonates with our consumers around the world.”

Jennie Kim for Calvin Klein.

Courtesy of Calvin Klein

In her new role, Leoni will design the Collection, which includes both men’s and women’s apparel, along with underwear and accessories. In addition, she will report directly to Serrano and the two will work together on the brand’s mainline portfolio and red carpet pieces. Leoni’s first runway show will take place in 2025. As of now, a season has not been specified.

Calvin Klein has been without a publically-facing lead designer since Raf Simons left the brand in December 2018. A month later, CK closed its New York Collection flagship at 654 Madison Avenue and in March 2019, they shuttered Calvin Klein Collection, which had been renamed 205W39NYC under Simons’s tenure. In the past year or so, however, following Serrano’s entrance into the President role, Calvin Klein has faced a bit of an uptick in popularity. Their campaign with Jeremy Allen White went viral earlier this year, and the brand dressed Zendaya in a white suit for the Rome premiere of Challengers in April. The brand’s partnerships with K-pop stars Jennie Kim and Jungkook of Blackpink and BTS respectively have resonated with a younger audience, and they recently released of new Pride campaign with Cara Delevingne and Jeremy Pope, shot by Gordon Von Steiner. In September of last year, CK also announced plans for a new Paris store at 44 Avenue des Champs-Élysées which is set to open this year.

Leoni at the Quira womenswear fall/winter 2023-2024 presentation at Paris Fashion Week.

Justin Shin/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

That is all to say, Leoni is joining the brand at an exciting time, and she will bring her own experiences with her. The Rome-based designer cut her teeth at Jil Sander and Céline during Phoebe Philo’s tenure. More recently she designed the 2 Moncler 1952 and has worked at The Row. In 2020, she started her own label, Quira, which debuted at Milan Fashion Week in 2021 and secured her a spot as a finalist for the LVMH Prize just last year. She has an eye for minimalism and tailoring, two traits that will likely meld well with the classic ethos of CK. Her appointment is also notable as a string of male designers take up the creative director roles among some of the top brands within LVMH and Kering. Leoni is the first-ever female creative director of Calvin Klein, and one of the few women in such a position in the industry at the moment.

“I’m thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to write a new chapter of the Calvin Klein story,” Leoni said in a statement. “For decades, Calvin Klein interpreted the idea of bold self-expression, and I am willing to empower it with a strong accent on style and creativity.”