A clip-on collar and black waist-cinchers with satin buttons are all part of the brand’s latest surprising collaboration: a capsule collection of lingerie and corsetry with Aubade Paris, the ne plus ultra of premium French innerwear.
The new range for fall 2021 retailing dovetails with Karl Lagerfeld’s recent foray into the thriving underwear and loungewear markets. Last month, the brand launched its underwear collection for men and women exclusively on karl.com and German e-commerce platform Zalando ahead of its arrival in stores beginning in January.
Sales of intimate apparel have risen sharply in the wake of this year’s coronavirus lockdowns, as consumers hop on the trend for comfort dressing.
The Karl Lagerfeld x Aubade collection is less about comfort and more about seduction and celebrating the body — with a formal touch.
The premium range — in black or ruby red — incorporates guipure embroideries, mesh embellishments and satin-covered buttons. The satin elements are inspired by the tuxedo jacket, an iconic piece in the Lagerfeld lexicon, while the clip-on collar is a reference to the late founder, rather than those famous male strippers.
Bras are available in cup sizes ranging from A to F, with underwear ranging from XS to XXL.
“When this project was brought forward to us by Aubade, we thought it would be perfectly complimentary to the underwear launch we already had planned,” said Pier Paolo Righi, chief executive officer of Karl Lagerfeld, which is headquartered in Amsterdam and Paris, noting that the capsule “very elegantly portrays the message of Parisian chic jointly expressed by two fashion houses that have this attribute in their DNA.”
Righi pointed out that Lagerfeld incorporated lingerie into his fashion shows and photo shootings: “He never looked at it as a separate element, but rather as one fashion element of the total picture.”
Ditto for the company that bears his name.
“It was not really a sudden decision to launch underwear, but a result of the fact that underwear is continuously growing as an important element of your self-expression and becoming an integral part of people’s fashion expression,” the executive said.
The average price for a Karl Lagerfeld x Aubade lingerie set is around 169 euros.
Founded in 1958 at the height of girdles, Paris-based Aubade is known for its use of luxurious materials — including Leavers lace from Calais, France and Swiss embroidery — plus expert fitting and cuts. Parisians are familiar with its artful, yet sexy black-and-white bus stop ads, and Aubade produces a calendar of such imagery every year.
According to Karl Lagerfeld, it and Aubade share a passion for photography, elegance, irreverence and their Parisian heritage, while the co-branded capsule “embraces an effortless, rock-chic attitude.”
Coincidentally, Aubade has a collaboration with Baptiste Giabiconi, one of Lagerfeld’s favorite male models and muses.
Honoring its late founder’s penchant for surprising collaborations, Karl Lagerfeld has also cued up a spring 2021 collection with buzzy designer Kenneth Ize, whose colorful, energetic and gender-fluid fashions exalt Nigerian weaving and craft skills, plus a range of environment-friendly accessories with model and eco campaigner Amber Valletta.
The brand has recently done collaborations with beauty giant L’Oréal Paris, fashion entrepreneur Olivia Palermo, and yarn and fabric promoter The Woolmark Company.