Calvin Klein's Jean Genius

Kevin Carrigan, on how he gets dressed.

As the Creative Director of Calvin Klein, Kevin Carrigan is a standard-bearer for simple-yet-masculine men's fashion. He takes clothes seriously without overcomplicating his outfits. Here's what he keeps in mind:

The Right Hook

“I always hang my jeans by the belt loop. I never fold them. I don’t like folded jeans because you’ll find a crease down the side. So always have lots of hooks around, whether they’re on the back of the bedroom door or in your closets. And I don’t wash my jeans much; I want to keep the color. I’ll tumble dry them if I want to get them a little skinnier if they’ve loosened up in fit. But my major thing is: Hang your jeans after you’ve worn them all day.”

Watch and Learn

“I have a collection of Rolex Oysters, all from 1965, the year I was born. I have a silver face, a navy blue face, a black face, a gold one. Basically, I switch them out constantly. I wear my silver one more in the summer. When I’m wearing a dark denim and black and navy, I wear my navy face. For evening I’ll wear my all-black Rolex face. I change my watch to match my outfit.” 

Hell For Leather

“Leather is still playing huge in everybody’s wardrobe. It’s a go-to piece, after the blazer, whether it’s a leather bomber jacket with a baseball or varsity collar, or it’s punky and biker-y and has more of an edge, or if a guy just wants a simple leather zip-up thing. Leather is a pretty essential part of a man’s wardrobe and will continue to be. There’s a sexiness and a rebelliousness to leather that I’ve always loved.” 

Calvin's Cuties

“I’ve worked with all of Calvin Klein’s models, from Kate Moss, who’s so sexy and has that great London street style, to Lara Stone, who’s so hot—her body is so curvaceous. Christy Turlington in our recent underwear campaign, Natalia Vodianova—all the CK women are sexy, confident, hot, and you’d be so happy to have any of them on your arm as a date. I can’t pick just one.”

Danish Khan / Getty Images

Dean's List 

“My style icon is definitely James Dean. I love those early pictures of him in New York City, off duty, going to acting classes. They’re black-and-white. He’s wearing a black cashmere topcoat; he’s got his horn-rimmed eye- wear on and his dark denim jeans. He always had that sense of effortless style.” 

Tough Boots

“There’s more of a tough-boot attitude happening now. We’ve done this lace-up, mountaineering-inspired, outdoorsy style. We’ve also done a lace-up boot with a buckle around the ankle in a washed deerskin. It’s not so much like a clean, Beatles ’60s boot; it’s a lug sole, definitely way more rugged.”

Jacket Required  

“A beautiful tailored jacket always elevates a man. It gives you presence. It starts from the shoulders down. The first thing you should look at when you put on the jacket is the height of the shoulder pad. At the moment, it’s getting more natural; there’s a softening around the shoulder. Guys are working out and going to the gym, playing sports, so to me, a natural yet defined shoulder starts everything.” 

Raw Power

“What’s great about Calvin Klein is we do jeans you can wear seven days a week. We stand for the clean, pure, elevated, dressy jean. I love raw denim. I think fit is important, but I don’t like overly skinny jeans. I think that kind of legging jeans on a guy is over. I’m really into a nice raw, indigo, straight-cut jean that’s devoid of detailing. That’s what makes denim cool.”

Photos by Danny Clinch