KARL HITS THE BOOKS
Byline: Robert Murphy
PARIS — Karl Lagerfeld inaugurated his newest gallery project here last week: a store specializing in high-end art books.
Dubbed 7L after its address at 7 Rue de Lille, smack in the heart of the Left Bank antiques district, the streamlined, minimalist 860-square-foot shop-cum-gallery is based on a quirky concept.
“We’ll introduce at least seven new books each week,” Lagerfeld told WWD. Among the subjects treated will be poetry, architecture, design, fashion, contemporary art and biography.
The space is more than just a shop, though. It will also be used as a hub for Lagerfeld’s new joint publishing venture — also called 7L — with German art publisher Steidl.
To baptize the project, Lagerfeld launched 7L’s first book, a handsome collection of prints by the late photographer Iwao Yamawaki.
Concurrently, Lagerfeld opened his private studio, located just behind the shop, to showcase Yamawaki’s poetic photos, many of which turn the lens on Bauhaus architecture. Similar exhibits will be mounted to celebrate subsequent 7L titles, Lagerfeld said.
But there’s a catch: Each show only lasts three days. “I need to use my studio,” Lagerfeld explained.
“This shop represents the natural next step in what I’m doing,” he added. “Everything’s connected — fashion, photography, art and now, books.”