PARIS — Who better than Karl Lagerfeld — who fills his hours like no one else in fashion — to bring some innovation to the watch market?
His new collection, produced with licensing partner Fossil Inc., is to debut on Feb. 28, coinciding with the next Paris Fashion Week and the opening of Lagerfeld’s “world of Karl” store on the Boulevard Saint-Germain here.
The seven core styles include the Karl Zip, a cufflike watch that can be zipped and unzipped into several widths, transforming a timepiece in a multilook fashion accessory.
While he doesn’t consider himself a serious collector (and is more of a fashionably late type than a clock-watcher), Lagerfeld loves timepieces. In fact, he has been known to wear several at once.
“Like beautiful bracelets,” he enthused. “I love watches as beautiful objects.”
Retail prices range from $150 to $595, and watches come in an assortment of sizes and colors. The launch collection is to be housed in special packaging and sport engraved case backs.
Pier Paolo Righi, chief executive officer of Karl Lagerfeld, said the watches would launch initially in about 50 doors in North America, Europe and Asia. Retail partners will include Colette and Galeries Lafayette in Paris; Selfridges in London; Watch Station in Asia, and Bloomingdale’s in the U.S.
Righi noted the watches’ “accessible luxury” positioning would allow a fairly broad distribution, which will ramp up to about 500 doors by the fall season.
“It’s very Karl, but it is equally very approachable,” Righi said of the line. “He has been heavily involved in the development of the line. You really see his handwriting coming through.”
Righi lauded Fossil’s advanced technical capabilities, allowing, for example, a chain to encircle the casing of one style.
That there are seven styles is no coincidence. It has been Lagerfeld’s favorite number for so long that he said he doesn’t even remember the original reason. (And lucky for him that’s the address of his 7L bookstore and photo studio, located at 7 Rue de Lille.)
“What is unique about the collection is the use of mixed materials to create the unexpected juxtaposition between subtle and overt design details,” said Steve Woodward, senior vice president of licensed brands for the Richardson, Tex.-based maker of fashion watches and accessories. “The collection truly represents both the fashion accessory category as well as functional watch performance.”
He added that “unexpected closure systems” and other functional details allow consumers to “express their unique fashion sensibility.”
Righi said Lagerfeld would shortly photograph print and outdoor spots in support of the venture.
Woodward noted the campaign would also “rely heavily on digital media, focusing on building and engaging with our consumer’s social networks.”
Exclusive: @britneyspears is continuing to expand her brand. The pop icon, who appears in @kenzo ’s latest campaign, is partnering with Epic Rights to launch a line of branded merchandise. Read @hernameislex ‘s story, link in bio. #wwdnews #britneyspears
The Duchess of Cambridge channeled Princess Diana’s look upon giving birth to Prince Harry, when she and the Duke of Cambridge departed the hospital with the new baby Prince this afternoon in London. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
The new Prince of Cambridge has arrived! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posed with the 8-pound newborn. She wore a look from one of her go-to designers, @jennypackham. Tap link in bio for more. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
Jewelry label @alisonlou has made a name for itself with fine jewelry that speaks to the Millennial market. Now @twallz21 reports that the label is bringing those playful ideas to a new affordable line of lucite hoops with the launch of Loucite by Alison Lou. Here’s a look from the line modeled by @emrata. #wwdaccessories
@sarahjessicaparker and @gilt are teaming up on a bridal ready-to-wear line. Tomorrow, Parker will launch SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Bridal — and as part of the launch, Gilt will offer 15 exclusive styles from the SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker footwear collection that were designed to complement the new line. Made out of 10 styles, the line is designed for a variety of occasions, from bridal showers to receptions. Get more details on WWD.com #wwdfashion
A grooming moment between @tanfrance and @antoni last night at the The LGBT Community Center Trailblazer Awards honoring Anna Wintour, Ricky Martin and more. See more photos at WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“It was a very surreal feeling. It wasn’t like we were in the studio together coming up with it — it’s more like he discovered it and loved it. I didn’t let myself get my hopes up, but then it happened it was very exciting,” said singer-songwriter @nombe on discovering that @pharrell would be using his song, “Cant Catch Me” on his HBO documentary series “Outpost.” The German-born singer — named Noah MacBeth — talked to WWD about feminism, using art as a platform for political expression and personal style. Read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
This season, denim is going west – in influence. Brands like @fathersdaughterla (pictured here), @tommyhilfiger Jeans, @levis and more are opting for raw, top-stitching styles. (Styled by @thealexbadia; 📷: @ryanplett)