A silver slicked back ponytail. A crisp collar that touches the jawline. Black leather fingerless gloves and dark tinted sunglasses. These things might sound unexciting and even a little odd. But when they’re put together, the public persona of one of the most successful designers in the world comes to mind—Karl Lagerfeld.
The creative director of Chanel and Fendi rose to the top of the fashion industry early in his life. When he was only 16, the International Wool Association awarded his sketch of a coat first place in a contest. His winning piece would actually be produced by the French fashion house Balmain and lead to an assistant job offered to him by Pierre Balmain. On his way to world-renowned status, Lagerfeld became the art director for Jean Patou at age 20. His unique perspective soon made him one of the most desirable designers to work with in the world of haute couture.
With a well-established name in luxury fashion, Lagerfeld opened his own self-titled fashion house in 1984. His collections later came to North America with a fall 2016 collection not branded as Karl Lagerfeld but as Karl Lagerfeld Paris. His specially designed pieces for the North American market stay true to a black and white palette. Women’s ready-to-wear fashions feature unexpected pops of colour and vintage-looking details reminiscent of outfits seen on Lagerfeld himself.
The icon’s personal aesthetic is distinctive but has rarely influenced the countless pieces he designed for fashion titans like Chloé, Fendi and Chanel. Now, his namesake collections give us a taste of Karl Lagerfeld’s true style.
Throughout his decorated career he’s brought us a few constant wardrobe staples—just think the cartoon version of Lagerfeld on his collections’ tags. Sunglasses, jacket, wide tie. What he does to customize the winning combination follows an unpredictable formula. He elevates a suit with jacket lengths, tarnished silver chains or brooches, pearls, baroque prints, satin bows and of course clean lines. And now, he brings all of these details to Karl Lagerfeld Paris designs.