Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld to Design for Macy’s

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Pictured: One of my favorite pieces from Karl Lagerfeld’s 2004 H&M collection

PeopleStyleWatch has some amazing budget fashion breaking news, first reported by Women’s Wear Daily (WWD).   Wait for it…Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld has signed to design a collection for Macy’s! The man who has lovingly carried on Chanel’s luxurious and timeless designs is now coming to “off the rack” retailer Macy’s.  The Lagerfeld collection is planned to launch in Fall 2011. The limited-edition line of women’s clothing comes as part of Macy’s new designer series, where the retailer will rotate different higher-end collections through their  new “Impulse” department every two months.

Personally, I’m surprised Lagerfeld is going to do another budget line.  He was none too happy with his  H&M collection in 2004.  Of course, he was probably unhappy all the way to the bank.  I remember reading in the foreign press that he was upset that H&M didn’t stock his collection for more than one day, so that it really was accessible to all.  He was also a bit snobbish about his designs being made available in larger sizes. “It was great to work with the people at H&M as we all helped each other to make it a success,” he told German magazine Stern in 2004. “But the incomprehensible decisions of the management in Stockholm have taken away any desire to do it again. They did not make the clothes in sufficient quantities. I find it embarrassing that H&M let down so many people… I don’t think that is very kind, especially for people in small towns and countries in eastern Europe.  It is snobbery created by anti-snobbery.”  He also told Stern magazine that he didn’t like his designs being made available in mass market sizes (think 12/14 US, 44/46 Euro)  “What I designed was fashion for slender and slim people,” said the designer. “That was the original idea.” Talk about snobbery.   I own some of Lagerfeld’s H&M pieces, and I adore them. I purchased them all on eBay in size 44.  I’m pleased that H&M made them in larger sizes, and I’m sure Macy’s will do them same. Especially since the average woman has been reported as being a size 14.  Why cut out a market segment that loves to shop?  Even Chanel made an array of sizes.  She didn’t just cut for size 2, 4 or 6. Remember, there was no size 0 when Chanel started to design.  Fashion is really for everyone, and isn’t that the point of mass-marketing these designers at lower prices?

“Karl Lagerfeld holds a unique place in the world of fashion, an icon who is the ultimate modernist,” Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Macy’s Inc. told WWD of the highly anticipated collaboration. Details and prices have yet to be announced.  To me, the Lagerfeld H&M collection had many Coco like touches.  It will be interesting to see if the Macy’s collection channels Chanel, or just Lagerfeld.


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.