Three years after Italo Zucchelli joined Calvin Klein in 2000, Klein himself stepped down and handpicked Zucchelli as his successor as the company’s creative design director of menswear. If ever there was a vote of confidence in fashion history, this was it. Since then, Zucchelli has seen nothing but success under the brand, twice being nominated as the CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year, losing his first nomination in 2007 to Ralph Lauren, but winning the second time in 2009.
It is said that Mr. Zucchelli maintains the simplicity and integrity of the roots of the Calvin Klein brand while bringing a uniquely European touch of style in a sophisticated and effortless manner. He has received his own critical acclaim while maintaining a clear continuation of the Calvin Klein brand philosophy.
In a recent interview in BoF (Business of Fashion) magazine Mr. Zucchelli was asked:
How do you keep your intuitions fresh?
“Transcendental Meditation. Intuition is something everybody has and meditation is a great way to develop it. I was given a mantra 20 years ago. I sit down and close my eyes, repeating the mantra for 20 minutes. It’s a tool. I would do it even if I cultivated tomatoes because I love it!”
Nian Fish, 18-year veteran of the KCD production agency and now an independent creative director, says of Mr. Zucchelli, “People don’t get stressed around Italo because you ride his wave of being present and in the moment. He is very light.” Biesenbach, a friend, adds, “He is so modest and at the same time very precise – a rare quality.”
Mr. Zucchelli grew up near La Spezia, a coastal town in northern Italy. He studied architecture at the University of Florence before changing directions and enrolling at Polimoda International Institute of Design and Marketing in Florence. Mr. Zucchelli now lives and works in New York City.