By Kerry Moore

Published on September 8, 2015

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Photography by Michael Wiltbank

Under the aegis of creative director Amy Mellen,
Calvin Klein Home
has crafted a dynamic method of developing custom colors for its collections, incorporating shades inspired by Mellen’s world travels.

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Photography by Michael Wiltbank

Each season, Mellen creates a palette for 
Calvin Klein Home
 based upon her current obsessions—from such various sources as the opalescent tinge of a hummingbird’s wing, the luminous vermilion of a cochineal insect, the mellow tones of a black walnut’s husk.

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The hues are arranged on a mood board and eventually curated into a coherent color story.

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To cultivate 
Calvin Klein Home
‘s collections, Mellen dyes her own fabric, often grinding natural ingredients into fine powders to mix with mordant (a substance that bonds dye to cloth) before setting the dyed cloth by submerging it in cold water.

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Her approach is traditional—for instance, Mellen still uses cochineal insects to create her vibrant carmine pigment, a method first employed in 15th-century Central America.

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“People think of 
Calvin Klein Home
 as not using a lot of color,” says Mellen, “but we really do.” 

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Photography by Michael Wiltbank
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Photography by Michael Wiltbank

After 20 years in the business, it’s the nuance of the company’s color sense that makes a powerful impression.

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Photography by Michael Wiltbank
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Photography by Michael Wiltbank
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Photography by Michael Wiltbank
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Photography by Michael Wiltbank
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Photography by Michael Wiltbank
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Photography by Michael Wiltbank
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Photography by Michael Wiltbank
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Photography by Michael Wiltbank
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Photography by Michael Wiltbank
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Photography by Michael Wiltbank

This gray Acacia bedding is an ideal example of 
Calvin Klein Home
’s subtle use of color!

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Photography by Michael Wiltbank