In the early 90s, Calvin Klein’s revenue dropped severely. Although an earlier attempt to enter the booming fragrance market had been made, big losses meant apprehensiveness toward taking another stab at this category of business.
Neil knew that to turn the brand around, he and his team would have to encourage a global cultural movement through the risky launch of a new fragrance—CKone. Every category rule was broken, from the genderless scent to the gritty, sexually suggestive campaign. He also modernized the brand’s logo and packaging, all of which elevated the public’s consciousness of Calvin Klein.
Record-breaking sales saw CKone move at an unprecedented 20 bottles per minute at its peak, gross $60 million in its first three months and clear $150 million in the first year. To this day, the campaign is regarded as one of the most groundbreaking of all time, as it helped define the ethos and attitude of an entire generation.