Lagerfeld to design for a major mass market retailer

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Can't afford Chanel? Snap up pieces from Karl Lagerfeld's collection for Macy's instead.

Lagerfeld's women's collection will be sold in about 250 Macy's stores as well as online starting September 2011. It is part of the American department store chain's new initiative to launch a series of limited-edition designer collections for its Impulse range - geared towards younger, more fashion-forward customers - starting early next year.

The designer collections will rotate every two months and will start in February 2011 with Kinder Aggugini, a darling of the London fashion scene. Aggugini, who started his eponymous label four years ago, has previously worked with John Galliano, Paul Smith, Versace, Calvin Klein, and Vivienne Westwood. Priced on average from $40-$140, with specialty pieces selling up to $300, his line for Macy's will channel a rocker-chic aesthetic.

But while Aggugini's name may not be recognizable to all Macy's shoppers, Lagerfeld's is anything but obscure. "Karl Lagerfeld holds a unique place in the world of fashion, an icon who is the ultimate modernist," said Terry J. Lundgren, president and chief executive officer of Macy's Inc. "Through the decades, his style and vision have marked the history of design. It is a tremendous honor to bring his inimitable perspective to our fashion customer."

Though the "Kaiser" heads some of the biggest luxury houses in the world - he helms the $10 billion US dollar Chanel empire, the Italian brand Fendi, and his own eponoymous label - Lagerfeld has an affinity for collaborating with mass market retailers. He rolled out a one-off collection for Swedish fast fashion chain H&M in 2004, and not only photographed the A/W 2010 catalog for the French mail-order company 3 Suisses, but was even featured in one of its print ads for a washing machine.

In a recent interview with the retail and beauty trade publication Women's Wear Daily, Lagerfeld commented on his desire to branch out into the lower-priced area: "It's funny for a person who has money to buy something inexpensive, and it's great for a person with not so much money to be able to get something by a designer. It's the new snobbism."

"Masstige" - a term that was coined from the words "mass market" and "prestige"- is steadily gaining steam. The current A/W 2010 season is glutted with high-profile designer collaborations, such as Mulberry for Target, Lanvin for H&M and Valentino for Gap.

 

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