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
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
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: Cleaner

    £15000 - £16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you've got first class custo...

    Recruitment Genius: Mobile Applications Developer / Architect - iOS and Android

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a medium s...

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales Account Executive - £40K OTE

    £11830 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working in a friendly, sales ta...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Designer

    £15000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

    Day In a Page

    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
    Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

    Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
    John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

    Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

    'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
    Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

    Forget little green men

    Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
    Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

    Dying dream of Doctor Death

    Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy