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How Celebrity Selling Drives Calvin and Tommy

As reported Wednesday, PVH Corp., the parent company of both the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands, did not have a good second quarter: revenue in the period fell 8 percent to $2.13 billion and income decreased 36.6 percent to $115.3 million.

To turn things around, it has implemented the so-called PVH+ Plan to “deliver brand, D2C and digitally led sustainable growth over time” as CEO Stefan Larsson told Wall Street analysts in an earnings call Wednesday.

He said that a key growth driver of the five-point plan is expanding consumer engagement. “The main way we drive increased customer engagement is by connecting our brands through our hero products with people who shape culture in a masspirational way and to big consumer moments throughout the year.”

“You can see the impact of this right now in Calvin Klein through our collaboration with Jennie Kim of the South Korean group Blackpink,” he continued. “She has 69 million followers on Instagram. She’s a big supporter of the brand, loves our iconic products and drives big engagement among consumers in Asia and increasingly globally.”

Likewise, superstar Shawn Mendes is garnering strong results as the face of Tommy Hilfiger. “For both brands, this is just a beginning of building a very strong influence capability that will leverage and multiply each brand’s iconic global strength,” Larsson continued. “We’re also creating our own big brand moments, and I’m excited that Tommy Hilfiger is returning to the New York Fashion Week for the first time in three years with an experiential runway event that will unveil the latest See Now, Buy Now Fall 2022 collection while immersing audiences both physically and digitally in a refreshed brand world.”

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Because of their ages—26 and 24, respectively—both Kim and Mendes are seemingly perfect fits for both brands’ denim offerings.

“As we move into fall, we have structured a multi-month program to strategically strengthen our brand positioning. Just last week, fall ’22 images of Jennie Kim were revealed on Instagram, e-commerce and high visibility placements, including Houston Street in New York City. Timed to Blackpink’s release of their new single, the activation created excitement for the fall campaign and further tapped into the brand’s connection to culture,” said Larsson.

New images for the campaign—“all executed in an iconic unmistakably Calvin way,’ according to Larsson—were launched yesterday starring Lee as well as actor Dominic Fike, actor and activist Susan Sarandon and models Lila Moss and Precious Lee.

Tommy Hilfiger, meanwhile, is stressing collection collaborations along with celebrity endorsements. “We are driving brand heat and momentum through connections with pop culture. Collaborations with Shawn Mendes, the NBA and the anticipation for our upcoming return to New York Fashion Week have all increased the visibility of Tommy Hilfiger. Our collaboration with Shawn Mendes generated a record-breaking 1.5 billion impressions and the highest global growth in new followers since 2019,” said Larsson.

“Turning to Tommy Jeans, the brand launched a global capsule collection with the NBA, continuing our focus on creating unique capsules. The collection drove hype and quickly sold out, supported by strong media placement in key outlets, coupled with a successful influencer push with more than 22 million impressions,” he added. This month Tommy Jeans will launch a new famous-faced global campaign featuring Kate Moss, drummer and producer Travis Barker and Grammy-winning artist and Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated actor Anthony Ramos.

“When it comes to the consumer engagement piece, we are starting to tap into masspirational talent that work as an amplifier to our brands,” Larsson said. Combining Calvin and Tommy with stars such as Mendes and Kim wearing “iconic” in-stock hero products led to 37 percent growth in Asia, he said. “We are early, early days in unlocking what’s within our control.”