Karl Lagerfeld, the great fashion designer, died on Tuesday February 19 at the age of 85 in Paris. While he is no longer with us, the one who for several years held the position of artistic director of the fashion house Chanel has forever marked the fashion world. Among its greatest successes, there is precisely the collaboration with the French brand. Its collections were completely transformed during the years of the Lagerfeld era. A look back at the Karl Lagerfeld Chanel story.
Karl Lagerfeld Chanel, the story of an era
Karl Lagerfeld is indisputably one of the greatest fashion designers of our time. Born in the 1930s in Hamburg, he decided to leave his native country to go to the fashion capital of the world, Paris. It was here that he finished his studies at Lycée Montaigne. At the same time, upon his arrival in the French capital, he worked to enter the world of fashion. It was following participation in a competition that the young Lagerfeld was selected to join Pierre Balmain’s studio. He stayed there for a few years before starting to work for Chloe and Fendi as well..
Twenty years later, Karl Lagerfeld embarked on a collaboration with the great French brand Chanel. During the years of this Karl Lagerfeld Chanel collaboration, the French fashion house completely transformed and became one of the most famous brands in the world..
The Coco Chanel era
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One of the most famous fashion brands was founded in Paris by Gabrielle Coco Chanel at the beginning of the 20th century. At this point in its history, the house of Chanel quickly established itself. It becomes synonymous with French elegance. In the 1920s, the brand also launched accessories and perfumes.
Less well known, it is this period that dates the birth of the Chanel N ° 5 perfume, commissioned by Coco in 1921. Originally, it was a gift intended for loyal customers of the fashion house. But the following year, due to its popularity, it became one of the brand’s best-selling products..
The 1920s were marked by great success for the fashion house and by its expansion. On the eve of World War II, the brand was already very well established in the market for women’s fashion and accessories. She had even launched new collections aimed at specific clients, such as her ready-to-wear collection designed especially for petite girls..
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Karl Lagerfeld, the famous fashion designer passed away at the age of 85. Tribute to his extraordinary talent
During the war years, Coco closed the fashion stores. Thus, during the occupation, the brand only sells perfumes and accessories. The period is also marked by rumors concerning Coco Chanel herself and her collaboration with the Nazi regime..
The 1950s to 1970s were a period of the brand’s return to fashion stores. Thanks to several collaborations, the French house has managed to regain its place in the fashion world. The situation changed when Coco Chanel died in 1971.
Chanel after Coco’s death
The death of Coco Chanel marks a turning point in the history of the fashion house. The period between 1971 and 1981, sales are declining.
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Thanks to commercial strategies, Alain Wertheimer, now at the head of the brand, manages to boost sales of the brand’s perfumes and beauty products..
While sales of outfits are in decline, Alain Wertheimer turns to Karl Lagerfeld. He asks her to quit her job at Chloe to enter a long-term collaboration with Chanel.
Karl Lagerfeld Chanel, the start of a new era
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The Karl Lagerfeld Chanel era began in 1983 when the great fashion designer agreed to start working for the brand. At this time, Chanel is a fashion house with a long history. However, the period after the brand’s founder died was marked by a decline in sales of women’s clothing. By agreeing to work for Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld intends to change this situation.
A luxury brand that offers modern women’s clothing
The artistic director of Chanel completely changes the image of the brand. He begins by adapting the silhouettes to fashion trends. For this, he relies on textiles and luxury materials..
Tweed and gold accents are the best-known examples of Chanel looks from this period. Thus, Karl Lagerfeld intends to keep the reputation of the brand as being intended for a luxury clientele. At the same time, his wish is to make clothes more modern by following fashion trends..
At a later time, the Karl Lagerfeld Chanel collaboration was also marked by a transformation of silhouettes. Thus, the more recent collections of the fashion house move away from the feminine elegance typical of Chanel outfits until now. Lagerfeld dares to experiment with original and modern silhouettes. His bet brings him a lot of success.
During the 1980s, the brand opened more than 40 new stores around the world. The prices of Chanel fashion items, accessories and perfumes are also increasing.
The Karl Lagerfeld Chanel era was a period of worldwide success for the brand. Since the 1980s, the fashion house has opened several new boutiques around the world..
It has also significantly increased its capital. In 1994, the French fashion house made profits estimated at 67 million euros. It results from sales of ready-to-wear items estimated at 570 million euros. This is what makes Chanel the most profitable fashion house in France.
Karl Lagerfeld Chanel, the secrets of the artistic director behind the brand’s success
During the years of his work for the French fashion house, Karl Lagerfeld never stopped innovating. Here are some of her secrets that have guaranteed the worldwide success of Chanel.
Less static silhouettes
According to Karl Lagerfeld, by the time he started working for the fashion house, Chanel’s silhouettes had become too frozen. This is the main reason for his decision to dare more modern outfits. They completely transformed the image of the brand during the 1980s. All of this brought results in terms of popularity and sales..
A luxury brand
The Karl Lagerfeld Chanel era established the French brand as a synonym of luxury. Chanel outfits are made of high quality materials. At the same time, the brand’s fragrances are becoming more accessible. This strategy allows the fashion house to gain new customers.
A world famous logo
The brand’s logo uses the initials of Coco Chanel. It was designed during the 1930s, when the founder of the house was still at the head of the company.
Karl Lagerfeld keeps this logo without making any changes. To popularize it, he integrated it into the brand’s textiles and accessories. The strategy is working. Today, the logo is among the best known in the world.
A collaboration with French artisans
The Karl Lagerfeld Chanel era established the brand as synonymous with a luxurious lifestyle. For this, the artistic director of the fashion house insists on high quality materials..
The manufacturing process for Chanel outfits and accessories is complex. For this reason, the brand continues to collaborate with many local artisans. She uses their services and skills in embroidery, textile and footwear manufacturing..
A careful presentation
The Karl Lagerfeld Chanel era was also marked by an interesting change in the presentation of Chanel outfits. Lagerfeld relies heavily on presentation to make the fashion house more recognizable.
Thus, his parades are real shows. One of the best examples of this was the haute couture fashion show for the spring summer 2015 season. The preparation for this show took 6 months..
Outfits worthy of the biggest stars
Chanel accessories and perfumes are undoubtedly very well known. But Karl Lagerfeld has always insisted that it is the outfits of the brand that must be at the center of all efforts..
So he never wanted accessories to eclipse Chanel outfits. As a result, these are now a very popular choice for celebrity red carpet appearances..
Karl Lagerfeld Chanel, the end of an era
The fashion house’s last show was held in January 2019. It showcased the fashion trends for the spring summer 2019 season. The brand’s artistic director did not appear at the end of the show. His death on February 19, 2019 is the end of an era.
What will be the future of the brand? For the moment, the artistic direction of Chanel is entrusted to one of Karl Lagerfeld’s collaborators, Virginie Viard. It remains to be seen whether it will succeed in meeting and exceeding the creativity of its predecessor. One thing is clear: the bar is set very high.