________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 20. . . .January 28th, 2010.


Calvin Klein: Fashion Design Superstar. (Crabtree Groundbreaker Biographies).

Diane Dakers.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2011.
112 pp., pbk. & hc., $14.95 (pbk.) $24.95 (RLB.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-2543-5 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-2534-3 (RLB.).

Subject Heading:
Klein, Calvin,1942- -Juvenile literature.
Fashion designers-United States-Biography-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-9 / Ages 10-14.

Review by Sherry Faller.

*** / 4




If Calvin was a brilliant designer, he also had a genius sense of timing and a knack for knowing what the fashion-wearing public wanted. While the concept of luxury sportswear - comfortable. Fashionable clothing made from the finest fabrics - was becoming big in Europe, it hadn't reached North America. Calvin was one of the first to bring designer fashion to the mainstream in the United States.

Part of the "Groundbreaker Biographies" series, Calvin Klein: Fashion Design Superstar is written for young people interested in the fashion world. The life and career of Calvin Klein, the "King of Clothes," is simply and logically written. His influential mother, his best friend and fellow business partner, Barry Schwartz, and the tragic kidnapping of his daughter Marci serve to make Klein's story interesting.

     This book is more than just a biography of Calvin Klein, the fashion designer. While it covers his humble beginnings as a New York Harlem grocer's son who struggled to enter the fashion world, it includes several single-page articles about fashion. Read about the history of blue jeans from dungarees to designer jeans. Learn about the fashion industry in New York and about how advertisers influenced young people to develop eating disorders by promoting skinny models. Readers can find out how Klein and other famous people manage to get their names on various products like fragrances.

     While designed for middle school readers, the text is in simple, single-column format with a larger than usual font for that age group. The photos and fashion designs are all in black and white, giving the book a more adult appearance. The book is equipped with the usual table of contents and index. The reader can pursue further information by looking up the books listed and by visiting the listed websites. A collection of topical words, which are unfortunately not bolded within the main text, causes the reader to be unaware they are found in the glossary. The Chronology timeline makes a useful preview or review of Klein's life.

     The information in this book is well-researched and presented. The writing style is easy to read. Calvin Klein: Fashion Design Superstar is recommended for middle years school libraries and would be a popular choice for a biography assignment.


Sherry Faller is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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