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Luxury

Tay Suan Chiang
Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014

Luxury

At home with Calvin Klein

The Business Times | Tay Suan Chiang | Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014

Having spent 15 years working at Calvin Klein Home, Amy Mellen knows every product like the back of her hand. Which means she can easily spot any item in the collection, even when it appears for no more than a minute on the big screen.

"I would be watching a movie, and go, 'hey, that is our bedding they used'," says Ms Mellen, who has been creative director of Calvin Klein Home since 2009.

She was recently in town as part of the company's multi-brand blitz across Asia that included a one-of-a-kind architectural installation at the old Kallang airport.

Calvin Klein Home was started in 1995, "when Mr Klein couldn't find the right bedlinen that he wanted", says Ms Mellen, who joined the company in 1999 as a senior designer.

From a range of bedlinen, the home collection has now grown to nine categories of products, including bedding, bath, dinnerware, tabletop, table linens, giftware, rugs, down, and furniture.

The New York resident says that the Calvin Klein Home client is "a modern man or woman, who knows the brand well and is already wearing the apparel and who wants the pared down minimal lifestyle." Just as with its fashion counterpart, the look of the Home collection is "very understated, it is about quiet luxury and elegance," says Ms Mellen.

New product ranges are introduced twice a year, but unlike fashion, "our items have to last a lot longer.

It would be awesome if everyone changed things in their home twice a year, but we know that is not going to happen," she says. "People invest in their home furnishings and these are pieces they have to live with for a long time, so our designs have to be long lasting."

Good design to her is "timelessness and lasts forever. It is something that you still like whether you bought it today or some years ago. It still looks good even years later."

Her team of seven, including herself, works with the merchandise department to plan a list of items that needs to be created. "Do we need a bar, a two-seater sofa? If yes, then we design one, and sometimes it works the other way too, where we suggest items to be added to the range," she says.

It becomes inevitable that some items get taken off production when new items are added on. But the brand has its evergreen designs.

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