Chanel products for sale on Depop on Wednesday included a black-and-white photograph of Karl Lagerfeld wearing his trademark sunglasses, priced at $999. A note from the seller, jessejawnz, read, “Thanks for inspiring so many generations of young designers and for forging a legacy like only you could. You will be dearly missed. RIP Monsieur Karl.”
With such engaged fans, it should come as no surprise that Depop searches for Karl Lagerfeld increased 1,351 percent following the designer’s death on Tuesday. “Chanel was also in the top 10 searches globally, but Karl was number one,” a spokeswoman said.
“I’ve definitely noticed more interest in Chanel,” said Brandon Veloria, cofounder of Manhattan vintage and contemporary preowned retailer James Veloria. “There’s definitely been more people asking for it.”
Clients are mostly looking for Nineties-era designs, including skirt suits in pastel colors and, of course, Chanel accessories, Veloria said, adding, “It was a really iconic time in fashion. A lot of those colorways and interesting knits and fabrications have been popular with more contemporary designers. Versace was doing something similar.”
As far as Chanel products appreciating, Veloria said, “Oh yeah, prices will definitely go up. As with anything, there will suddenly be a lot of interest in Chanel, and then there will be less of it out there because people will start holding onto their pieces. We’ll definitely hold on to certain things. We’re definitely looking [for Chanel products] now.”
“We’ve seen increased demand for Chanel this week, particularly in clothing and handbags,” said luxury resale site The Real Real. “In apparel, customers are gravitating most toward classic tweed jackets and dresses, while handbag demand increased across both staples such as Flap and Boy bags as well as vintage and novelty styles such as the Hula Hoop and Lego Clutch.”
“EBay search and sales data provides a real-time look at what’s happening in culture,” said Renee Paradise, eBay’s senior director of fashion. “As people around the world look to celebrate the life and legacy of Karl Lagerfeld, we are seeing an uptick in interest for Chanel and Fendi.”
Interest in Lagerfeld intensified on ThredUp on Wednesday when searches of the designer’s name shot up 541percent, product searches jumped 791, purchases rose 58 percent, and the average number of products purchased increased 265 percent.
“The resale market plays an integral role in commemorating late designers by giving new life to their past collections,” said Ashley Ricketts, Luxe manager of ThredUp, noting that the resale site is paying up to 90 percent commission for Chanel and Fendi products. “Greater scarcity results in greater demand. In the coming weeks, we expect to see a surge in the sale of Karl Lagerfeld-era Fendi and Chanel pieces. We also anticipate an increase in the consignment of these brands, and it’s possible that some iconic or rare styles will command higher prices.”
StockX, which offers hundreds of Double Flap and Boy handbags in diamond quilted and chevron leather, on Tuesday experienced a 25 percent increase in the number of bids on Chanel products on the platform, compared to the same period the previous week.
What Goes Around Comes Around sent an e-mail to its customers Tuesday saying Karl Lagerfeld was an icon who will be missed. “Karl Lagerfeld’s products clearly will now be more coveted. It’s the nature of what happens. There won’t be [new] Karl-designed product,” said Gerard Maione, cofounder of WGACA. “There’s only going to be less and less of it because people want to collect more of it or hold on to what they have. It’s the iconic pieces we believe in and love. The collections from the last few years will start to build once they hit the five-year and 10-year mark. I hope there will be enthusiasm for the last collection. If you go back to certain collections, such as logo mania of the Nineties, I don’t see how that’s going out of style.”
Doubletake, a consignment retailer with three locations in New Jersey, coincidentally has been running a promotion of 70 percent commission on Chanel jewelry during the month of February. Rachel Tressitt, regional manager, said, “We’ve talked about [the death of Lagerfeld] with a lot of customers. As a company we also discussed it. The interest in Chanel is going to go up, but Chanel is always the brand. We talked about what happens in terms of value, and we don’t see it going down. People love the shoes, bags, accessories, jewelry. The classics seem to do the best — jumbo, small, medium and maxi [bags] in caviar leather. He was a legend.”
More on Karl Lagerfeld:
Video: Watch WWD’s Bridget Foley Interview Karl Lagerfeld in 2013