Sterling Ruby's installation at Calvin Klein, New York © 2017 Elizabeth Felicella/Esto Photographics.

Sterling Ruby was invited to create a floor-to-ceiling installation at the Calvin Klein flagship store on Madison Avenue, New York, New York.


Calvin Klein, Inc. announced the reopening of the brand’s Madison Avenue flagship store, which features a floor-to-ceiling installation by artist Sterling Ruby. The reopening marks the arrival of Chief Creative Officer Raf Simons’s debut Fall 2017 CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC collection in the store.

At the invitation of Simons, Ruby has reimagined architectural designer John Pawson’s original design of the CALVIN KLEIN flagship store. This transformation takes cues from Ruby’s vision for his two previous CALVIN KLEIN projects: redesigning the ground floor lookspace and 12th floor showroom at the company’s 205 W 39th Street headquarters. The floor-to-ceiling installation at the Madison Avenue store was devised as an intermediary step to celebrate the arrival of Raf Simons’s debut CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC collection, prior to a forthcoming full renovation of the building.

To reflect that impermanence, the design incorporates and invokes an environment under construction—scaffolding fills the space and an overwhelming wash of bright yellow paint coats the walls and invades interior volumes, reflecting the warning color of cautionary tape and traffic signs. The installation is an immersive floor-to-ceiling environment that traverses art and industry, reflecting the artist’s own obsessions as well as a new era for CALVIN KLEIN presenting a vision of America’s gleaming highs and its gritty lows. The use of color, everyday materials and the serviceable nature of scaffolding brought indoors all give the reimagined flagship store a warm, youthful energy, communicating the celebration of change and progress at the brand.

“I wanted the store to generate a very immediate physical experience that could as well be intimately connected to the collections,” said Simons. “It is also a continuation of the language I am creating with Sterling for CALVIN KLEIN’s visible and physical identity. The use of very direct and familiar references common to the American visual experience creates a simple and emotional connection with the brand.”

“I’m taking the CALVIN KLEIN flagship store from minimal to maximal; my design should be seen as a marker to celebrate the future of the brand,” said Ruby. “I wanted the store to glow from within, representing a new day for CALVIN KLEIN.”

 



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