Cult of Karl Lagerfeld comes to the capital: Designer launches boutique in London

This shop is about offering a bite-size piece of the Lagerfeld image – an iPhone cover, a book, a doll – to an ever celebrity-hungry public

Karl Lagerfeld has landed in London. Not the man, but the shop. The man is here too, in tandem with the shop opening, paper-white ponytail perfectly coiffed, collar starched high, that indelible, unchangeable image we all know so well, taking its bow after Lagerfeld’s catwalk shows at Fendi and Chanel.

Only this isn’t a Chanel boutique, nor a new Fendi outpost. It’s Lagerfeld’s own eponymous label, its first boutique in the UK and 19th in the world. When the doors were opened to the press, however, Karl Lagerfeld was nowhere to be seen at Karl Lagerfeld.

Actually, that’s inaccurate: he was everywhere. Not the man himself, but an array of products bearing his image, from £25 iPhone cases, through £129 tokidoki toy dolls, to Union Jack pillows and neon light installations sketching out his profile. It’s a cult of Karl.

That’s the point of the Karl Lagerfeld line: it may be a stone’s throw from the Chanel flagship on Bond Street, but it’s a million miles away in concept. Equidistant to Chanel is the enormous Regent Street H&M, where Lagerfeld launched the mass retailer’s first designer collaboration a decade ago.

Karl Lagerfeld – the label, and the designer – is all about satisfying the masses. That’s why it’s tapping into the instantly-recognisable visage of Karl. The geographic location of the store is also a sure-fire indicator – Regent Street isn’t about big spenders, it’s about big numbers: Regent Street is a destination for 70 million visitors a year. Hence Lagerfeld and its CEO Pier Paolo Righi are pitching the line as “accessible luxe,” right in line with other Regent Street-adjacent retailers, such as Longchamp and Michael Kors. The focus on accessible luxe has more than paid off for the latter, a company recently valued at a cool £11bn.

Prices at Lagerfeld stretch to about £1,000 for a leather jacket, but most hover – accessibly – at about a few hundred or even lower. A classic Chanel 2.55 – the chain-strapped quilted number introduced in 1955 and still a worldwide bestseller – will set you back in the region of £2,600. Lagerfeld’s own-label version, stamped with a K rather than double-C, retails for about £350.

There isn’t a catwalk show for these clothes. Honestly, they don’t need it. Constantly monochrome, constantly Karl, they don’t change much. This shop isn’t about fashion, really. This shop is about offering a bite-size piece of the Lagerfeld image – an iPhone cover, a book, a doll – to an ever celebrity-hungry public.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

    £22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

    £16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

    Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

    Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

    Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

    £70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
    Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

    Confessions of a former PR man

    The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

    Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

    Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
    London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

    The mother of all goodbyes

    Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
    Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

    Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

    The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
    Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions