Karl Lagerfeld is one of the world’s most influential and iconic designers. He established his design career at an early age amongst legends like Yves Saint Laurent and Coco Chanel. However, unlike his friends YSL and Chanel, he did not focus solely on his own label and is currently the head designer and creative director of not ONE but TWO of the most iconic luxury brands in the world: Chanel AND Fendi.
Now at the age of 80, Karl is showing no signs of slowing down and is currently expanding the global retail presence of his namesake fashion house Karl Lagerfeld to secure its position as one of the world’s leading lifestyle brands. Headquartered in Paris’ Saint-Germain-des-Prés district, the Karl Lagerfeld Company has been in the portfolio of Apax Partners, a British investment fund, since 2006. Karl’s personal label represents the designer’s own style and soul with no boundaries or limitations to his creativity.
March 2014 marked the launch of Karl Lagerfeld’s flagship store at 145-147 Regent Street, London. Following in the footsteps of Burberry’s flagship store (also located in Regent Street), the store uses cutting-edge digital technology to compliment the men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections and accessories including handbags, leather goods, watches, eyewear, scarves, footwear etc. This is the biggest Karl Lagerfeld store in Europe to date, covering 250-sq-m’s over two floors. With stores in Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Antwerp, Shanghai, Beijing and now London, the brand is set to continue its international rollout of stores to secure its presence in the fashion world.
In true Karl style, the launch of the London store was a flamboyant affair. A fleet of Karl Lagerfeld branded London taxis drove in convoy on Regent Street throughout the evening while Karl turned heads as he arrived to the event in one of these specially created cabs. The guest list included: Princess Beatrice, Lady Amanda Harlech, Arizona Muse, Amber Le Bon, Haim, John Newman and David Gandy to name a few.
The store also launched the London-inspired capsule collection, which takes inspiration from the UK and the Union Jack flag. Men’s and women’s wear feature military influences and the rock-chic aesthetic celebrates the glamour of London combined with the playful, rebellious edge of the brand.
The designer has been heavily involved in the creation of the flagship store and as expected the theme is black and white and the features are juxtaposed against classic accents, all offset by shiny and matte elements. Throughout the entire store, mirrors and walls of light illuminate and enhance the collections on display.
Technology was a key focus for the designer. IPad minis are integrated into display racks where visitors are encouraged to sign a digital Guestbook by leaving a personal note for the designer.
The fitting rooms are equipped with photo booths that have built-in touch screens that allow shoppers to photograph their looks by taking ‘selfies’ and applying various Karl-inspired filters to their photos and then sharing these images instantly via social media.
Customers can also purchase fingerless gloves similar to the ones Lagerfeld wears, a Choupette keyring and a limited-edition Lagerfeld tokidoki doll (similar to the one Cara Delevingne was seen holding at the Fendi fashion show last month).
All images courtesy