From being in the works since summer last year, the Karl Lagerfeld and Kenneth Ize collaboration is finally here.
The partnership between Nigerian-Austrian designer Kenneth Ize and the late Karl Lagerfeld’s eponymous label is significant for a few reasons – a key one being that Ize is the first Black designer to collaborate with Karl Lagerfeld’s maison.
Kenneth Ize garnered attention for his use of vibrant colours and geometric patterns creating garments inspired by traditional weaving techniques and fabrics such as aso oke, a hand-woven cloth native to Yoruba people in Nigeria. His collections have been credited with showcasing African artisans and creatives on the global stage for a new gen, which he continues for this collaboration taking inspiration from imagery by artists like Malick Sidibé for the designs.
Although the late Lagerfeld and Ize are from different generations, their paths crossed on more than one occasion. Ize was brought up in Austria and studied at Vienna’s school of applied arts in 2014 for two years, where Lagerfeld was a guest lecturer. Then in 2019, Ize was an LVMH prize finalist and would have met Lagerfeld, who would have sat on the judging panel, before he died in February 2019.
The SS21 capsule collection will combine Lagerfeld’s Parisian sensibilities with Ize’s Nigerian heritage in a genderless, vibrant celebration of culture fused with elevated design, traditional weaving techniques, and sharp tailoring. Ize designed the capsule collection with design director of Karl Lagerfeld Hun Kim, and was approached by French stylist and style advisor to the Karl Lagerfeld brand Carine Roitfeld to work on the collection.
“I think Karl was very open minded. He would be excited to have someone like Kenneth around him, because maybe didn’t know a lot of Kenneths. He has a new sense of colors, a new sense of seeing things.”
– Carine Roitfeld
The Karl Lagerfeld and Kenneth Ize capsule collection will be available from July 7 online and in-store with RRP ranging from £85 – £600.
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