Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Nurture Yourself - Get Ready For Karl Lagerfeld's KARL On Net-A-Porter

I must have been channeling the great Karl Lagerfeld when I talked about black and white yesterday because tomorrow (Wednesday), he will be debuting his new and affordably priced Karl line on Net-A-Porter! You may have heard the web buzzing over the last month or so in anticipation of his 70-piece collection with themes of black, leather and sequins, ranging in price from about $50 for a canvas tote with his name on it to $1,350 for a textured leather jacket.  The line includes everything, from tees and sweats to skirts and dresses and Wednesday's event will be the first global launch of a major fashion brand entirely online - straight to the consumer.  Here are a few of the preview images that have recently been released - the collection is bold, eclectic and strong, just like Karl.

All clothing, Karl by Karl Lagerfeld. Images courtesy of Net-A-Porter. 

Lagerfeld is best known for his role as creative director and designer of Chanel (he produces about 9 collections a year), regularly said to be the largest luxury company in the world, with annual revenues estimated at more than 4 billion dollars. In fact, today he will be sending the Chanel Haute Couture Fall 2012 show down the runway in Paris. He is also creative director of his eponymous clothing label and the Italian fashion house Fendi. In preparation for the launch of his newest endeavor, here are 15 things to know about this visionary designer:

15 Things You Should Know About Karl:

1.  He is an accomplished photographer whose work has appeared in magazines all over the world. He shoots the advertising campaigns for Chanel, Fendi and his own line every season and has had several solo exhibits of his photography.

2. He is an avid reader in four languages - German, French, Italian and English and owns over a quarter of a million books. He has his own publishing house division called Edition 7L and also owns a bookstore in Paris on the Rue Lille called 7L.  In the 1980's, a reprint of Hans Christian Anderson's book "The Emperor's New Clothes" was published with drawings by Lagerfeld and he has published books on everything from advertising to mythology to architecture.

3.  In 2001, he lost 92 pounds in one year and ended up co-writing a book with his physician Jean-Claude Houdret called "The Karl Lagerfeld Diet."

4.  In 2004, he designed a line for H & M which sold out in a few days. In 2011, he collaborated with Macy's and earned their website more than a billion (yes, you read that correctly) "hits" when his collection launched.

5. His design process consists almost entirely of his multi-colored drawings on paper (or sometimes his IPAD) which reflects his incredible skill as an illustrator.

6. He is OBSESSED with music and carries it everywhere he goes. He owns hundreds of IPODS which he catalogues by artist, genre, or time (some he marks with dates to remind him of its place in his personal musical history.) He also released a two-disc CD called "My Favorite Songs" with artists like Devendra Banhart, LCD Soundsystem, Stereolab and Siouxsie and the Banshees.

7. He lives (when he's in Paris) on the Quai Voltair on the Left Bank, in a 200 year-old building overlooking the Louvre.

8. His favorite American author is E.B. White and he has said of the famous writer, "The sound, the language, what it evokes for me. I see New York with the eyes of his book about New York. That is how one should write English."

9.  He speaks incredibly quickly, often in a soft, almost unintelligible voice.  He attributes his speech pattern to his mother who told him that his childhood stories were "so boring" that he should hurry up and tell them.

10. His fashion career began when he won second place in a design competition and was offered an apprenticeship by designer Pierre Balmain (first place in the competition went to a young Yves Saint Laurent).

11. When Lagerfeld was offered the job as designer of Chanel in 1983, the company was on a downward trajectory and his friends said, "Don't touch it, its dead, it will never come back."

12. He does not drive, drink, smoke, or use email.

13. He designed for Krizia and Charles Jourdan in the early sixties and Chloe and Fendi in the seventies.

14. He is also a filmmaker and regularly shoots short films for Chanel. Here is one of his recent ones titled "The Tale Of A Fairy."

15. He owns between 20 and 30 IPADS and 4 IPHONES, all which he keeps in a beautiful Celine briefcase that travels with him everywhere he goes.

Chanel Spring/Summer 2012, photography by Karl Lagerfeld.  

Chanel Spring/Summer 2012, photography by Karl Lagerfeld.
15 1/2: He has a sense of humor. I saw this "Karl Who" bag in October while we were shopping at Arty Dandy in Paris. After talking with one of the girls in the store, she told me Karl had been seen with it in and around Paris and showed me this photo of him carrying it.

"Karl Who" bag by Naco Paris, $70, available at artdandy.com. 
I'll leave you with a great video of an interview Karl did at Europe's largest technology conference, Le Web Paris on December 7th, 2011.  In the 48 minute chat, you will see him sketch a self-portrait of himself on his IPAD, play a short video he recently shot, explain why he has 4 IPHONES


Anonymous said...

Wow that's fascinating, he's a nut job! Number 9 made me feel all awwwww. How can someone have a quarter of a million books???

Fab post!


tina said...

Thank you to Annie for forwarding your post...

A few years ago I read an amazing article on KL that blew me away.. I am fascinated by his creative processes and how his curiosity is ceaseless. I would love to have his library, his bookshop, his creativity and his resources...

Thank you for a great post.

Oh, btw, didn't know he was launching affordable line for NAP. Genius and online!!

California Chic said...

@Annie - I was thinking the same thing about the books. You couldn't find them when you needed them....unless he has a library set up in a warehouse somewhere and has his own librarian. Can you imagine?

@Tina Thank you for stopping by Tina! He is really a fascinating person isn't he? Check out the video if you have a few minutes..I really enjoyed watching him sketch. Excited to see the full collection tomorrow on net-a-porter too.

Theresa / InspirationCOOP said...

Thank you for this post, J! You always share the most fascinating information. In just a few short minutes I learned so much about Karl. He is a genius. Well, all great artists are, right?

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