KARL LAGER­FELD

Condé Nast Traveller Middle East - - Tastemaker - – DA

To­day’s brand cul­ture is pro­lif­er­ated on a global scale, and it drives more and more peo­ple around the world to spend large amounts of money on de­signer goods. This has been a boon for ex­ist­ing fash­ion hubs like Lon­don, Paris, Mi­lan and New York, but has also fun­da­men­tally al­tered the land­scape of des­ti­na­tions like Capri and Courchevel, where the tourist trin­kets have long made way for lim­ited-edi­tion hand­bags and thou­sand-dol­lar shoes. At the con­sumer apex is Chanel, with its cov­eted dou­ble-C. Wear­ing Chanel is a cul­tural lan­guage un­der­stood from La­gos to Ber­lin. This is in no small part thanks to the rest­less imag­i­na­tion and cul­tur­ally om­niv­o­rous ten­den­cies of Karl Lager­feld, who was ap­pointed de­sign di­rec­tor in 1983 and has be­come as closely as­so­ci­ated with the brand as Made­moi­selle her­self. Not only has Lager­feld drawn in­spi­ra­tion from ev­ery cor­ner of the globe, he in­tu­itively un­der­stands his cultish au­di­ence’s de­sire not just for Chanel cat­walk looks but an en­tire Chanel life­style, pro­duc­ing ev­ery­thing from up­scale branded beach­wear to mono­chrome snow­boards. The Chanel head­quar­ters on nar­row lit­tle rue Cam­bon in Paris has be­come a Lour­des of pur­chaser de­vo­tion – with count­less side-chapels from Seoul to São Paulo, Lon­don to Los An­ge­les, Barcelona to Bei­jing.

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