Wednesday, 25 January 2012

NET-A-PORTER celebrates the launch of KARL

Jenny Cossons talks about the new KARL brand at NET-A-PORTER 

On Wednesday 25 January at 13:30 in Covent Garden Market, London saw the unveiling of Karl Lagerfeld’s new line KARL. Simultaneously KARL was also launched in New York, Paris and Berlin. Sydney alas had to wait a few hours more due to the time difference. 

At the London launch, people started queuing from 12:00 to make sure they were one of the first 50 visitors and so receive a pair of iconic KARL leather gloves or a collar from the collection.

Jenny Cossons, Group Head of Brand Relations at NET-A-PORTER was available for interviews. Here is mine: 

NET-A-PORTER has four weeks exclusivity on the KARL brand – How did you achieve this?
We pride ourselves on having a fantastic relationship with all of our 400 plus brands that we work with. And I think the feeling was that we should be the exclusive partner because we’re the only global luxury online retailer featured in 170 countries and with 4.5 million visitors. So it made sense for us to be the exclusive partner for this amazing launch.

Who approached who for the collaboration?
It was the meeting of minds to be honest. When you think about of all the fashion brands we collaborate with, why not collaborate with the King of Fashion himself? It was the coming together of both parties.

How long many months did it take to co-ordinate and organise a global launch simultaneously?
It’s been a long time. Officially we started launching the brand about six months ago and then we started revealing the brand and pieces of the collection about a month and a half ago. It’s been a long process but super exciting and obviously leading up to today we are thrilled with it.

What is it like to meet Karl in person?
It has been an extraordinary experience and inspirational. He’s amazing, there’s an incredible aura when he’s in the room. He’s a legend. If you work in fashion meeting Karl Lagerfeld is the ultimate, it’s like a dream.

Who is the KARL Woman?
I think the Karl Woman is modern but with a rock and roll edge, you’ll see that in all the pieces of the collection. You’ve got everything from leather miniskirts to sequin jackets to different collars to T-Shirts, so you really do have something for everyone in the collection. Karl Woman is elegant but modern and edgy.

Are there any key pieces in the collection?
There are 70 pieces to choose from and there is also going to be five limited edition dresses which we will have exclusivity for a day. So there’s everything from £20 to £1,500 which are the limited edition dresses.

Do you have a favourite piece?
I do have a favourite piece. There’s a beautiful jersey wrap dress in a merlot wine colour with a print of Karl silhouettes. Also the beautiful sequin collars which add a bit more of an edge.

Jenny asked if I had seen the NET-A-PORTER KARL app and said: 
You’ll be able to shop and win with the app. You can take a sneak peek of the collection.
You can take a photograph of yourself and make yourself into Karl Lagerfeld which is quite good fun. If you scan the logo, different things pop up.  There’s a Find Karl maze game, and cash prizes to win and spend on the KARL collection. What’s so exciting about KARL is not only is it an amazing beautiful and luxurious product, but it is also taking technology to the next level, this is the first time a  launch that has been done in this way.  

Do you see this as the way forward for future brands?
It remains to be seen but whatever we do it will be the first of its kind just like today.

The pieces in the KARL collection mix and match easily with each other. Colour palette is predominantly black and white but with pops of bubble gum pink, silver and merlot. It is now available online at and don’t forget to watch the tongue in cheek Face to Face interview where Karl interviews himself.

Photo Credit: NET-A-PORTER celebrates the launch of KARL

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky

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