Karl Lagerfeld label grows 30% in 2017, sets out new menswear strategy at Pitti Uomo

Karl Lagerfeld has come out in force this season at Pitti Uomo, taking over a major stand in the central court of the Florentine show's Fortezza da Basso venue. The German designer's eponymous label chose Pitti Uomo as the platform from which to set out its new menswear strategy, aimed at strengthening the line and broadening its range.

Sébastien Jondeau and Karl Lagerfeld - Karl Lagerfeld

The main men’s line, Karl Lagerfeld, and the more formal one, Lagerfeld, will blend together into one single collection. "The idea is for the men's range to be structured like the women's, adopting a more directional, sportswear style, and becoming less tailored. Sales for the women's ready-to-wear collections overtook those of the men's line two years ago, reaching 70% of the label's total revenue," said Karl Lagerfeld's CEO Pier Paolo Righi, speaking to FashionNetwork.com.

"We want to boost menswear, and promote it so that it can seize the opportunities we are seeing in womenswear. In parallel, we wish to keep developing other narratives focusing on the world of Karl Lagerfeld, creating many more links between his personality and the brand," added Righi.

Following this approach, the label launched a capsule collection called Karl Lagerfeld curated by Sebastien Jondeau at Pitti Uomo, a collection designed by the German designer's personal assistant. Sébastien Jondeau has assembled a men's wardrobe infused with a slightly sportier feel, featuring some thirty items between clothes and accessories.

Another avenue the label is exploring to give substance to this 'Lagerfeldian' world is that of licensing. After eyewear with Marchon, watches with Fossil, the junior line with CWF, fragrances with Interparfums, jewellery with Swarovski and footwear with Overland, the group announced a deal with Giada to launch a fully-fledged jeans line. Giada is an Italian producer specialised in high-end denim, notably holding the production and distribution licences for Jacob Cohën.

Another strategic staple is the Karl Lagerfeld Paris line, specific to the US market and introduced two years ago. It is a much broader line, targeting more mature consumers compared to the European collection, which is aimed at Millennials. "In 2017, for the second consecutive year, we reached a revenue of $80 million (approximately €67 million) on the US market. After the USA, our main markets are the Middle East, France and Germany. Last year, our total sales grew by 30%, and comparable sales were up 17%," said Pier Paolo Righi.

The Karl Lagerfeld label is owned since 2006 by UK private equity firm Apax Partners, and currently operates 95 monobrand stores.

Translated by Nicola Mira

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