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Inside Karl Lagerfeld’s New ‘Digital Driven’ Denim Brand

The Karl Lagerfeld brand is putting its stamp on denim.

The G-III Apparel-owned namesake brand of the late Chanel designer introduced Karl Lagerfeld Jeans on Thursday, adding to its extensive product range that covers ready-to-wear, footwear, small leather goods, fragrances and eyewear. 

Geared toward the “first generation of true digital natives,” the men’s and women’s line applies Karl Lagerfeld signatures such as K-shaped stitching to youthful, streetwear-inspired designs that balance masculine and feminine for fluid concepts designed to be mixed and matched.

“As the world of Karl Lagerfeld continues to expand, we’re excited to grow our portfolio with the launch of Karl Lagerfeld Jeans,” said Pier Paolo Righi, Karl Lagerfeld CEO. “Not only did Karl wear denim on most days—he also had the lifelong vision to connect with younger generations and inspire a constant reinvention of art and culture.”

The Spring 2023 collection spans skinny, straight and relaxed fits, accompanied by versatile denim jackets, layering pieces, handbags and sneakers. Highlights include a denim miniskirt with the Karl Lagerfeld Jeans logo splashed across the front, a ruffled hem denim dress and indigo and washed black ombre jeans. 

An electric blue—Pantone 2736 C—appears on buttons, toggles, rivets and logo boxed on tees, tanks and accessories. It’s complemented by contrasting seasonal accents of orange and lime. Prints are expressive and painterly, inspired by abstract modern art and camouflage patterns.

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The collection, which retails for $60-$299, is available now on Karl.com and select digital partners. To target Gen Z consumers, Karl Lagerfeld Jeans aims to merge online, offline and phygital experiences through digital-focused campaigns. The brand said it will engage its audience through user-generated content, social media activations and influencer initiatives that encourage young talents to join the conversation. 

Sustainability is one of those conversations. Jeans that carry the “Karl Cares” hangtag contain at least 50 percent of more sustainable materials like organic cotton and recycled polyester. Additionally, the brand said it is using manufacturing techniques that require less water and energy than traditional denim manufacturing. 

Karl Lagerfeld Jeans

Collections are being created by a dedicated new design and product team, which is overseen by the Maison’s design director, Hun Kim. The studio has been established at the brand’s headquarters in Amsterdam.

“Karl was a master of mixing cool, rock-chic denim with more dressed-up pieces,” Kim said. “He also showed that denim is ageless and genderless—no matter who you are, everyone can wear denim. The progressive Karl Lagerfeld Jeans brand celebrates diversity across new silhouettes, new treatments and unexpected new details. The look is creative, authentic and effortlessly cool, for trend-setters and rule breakers who want to stand out from the crowd.”

Lagerfeld himself will be back in the spotlight in 2023. The late designer will be the muse of the Costume Institute’s spring exhibition, “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty.” The exhibit will spotlight the Germany-born designer’s unique methodology, focusing on how he expressed his “stylistic vocabulary” through collections from the 1950s to his final offering in 2019.

Approximately 150 garments will be on view, spanning the designer’s career as the creative director of Chloé, Fendi, Chanel, and his eponymous label, Karl Lagerfeld, as well as his time at Balmain and Patou. Most of the pieces on display will be accompanied by Lagerfeld sketches highlighting his creative process.