PARIS — Before Olympic fever grips London, there will be Karl mania.

This story first appeared in the July 9, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

On July 24, three days before the Summer Games kick off, Karl Lagerfeld is slated to make a personal appearance at Selfridges as the department store inaugurates a dedicated space to his signature brand, and launches the new premium line Karl Lagerfeld Paris Man, WWD has learned.

Windows at the main entrance on Oxford Street are to point to various Lagerfeld attractions, including a pop-up space on the third floor in the contemporary women’s wear department, and an Olympic-themed capsule collection of apparel and accessories under the banner “Team Karl.”

The latter includes limited-edition T-shirts in collaboration with London design agency I Love Dust. One depicts the designer, forever in suit-and-tie and sunglasses, getting ready to fling a discus.

Selfridges also plans to launch the fall collections for men and women under the Karl label, the masstige brand with a casual, rock ’n’ roll flavor introduced in January.

Karl Lagerfeld Paris Man is a new luxury ready-to-wear range produced and distributed under a licensing pact with Italy’s Ittierre SpA. (This is distinct from the Lagerfeld men’s line produced in partnership with Miltenberg, Germany-based F.D. Fashion Herrenmode GmbH.)

That Lagerfeld is attending a private cocktail reception to inaugurate the Selfridges showcase underscores renewed efforts to build the designer’s signature business to match his outsized personality and towering fashion reputation.

Karl Lagerfeld BV, controlled by private equity firm Apax Partners, is out to multiply the size of the company via a broader range of product lines and retail initiatives, including an emphasis on e-commerce, as reported.

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