Seven of Karl Lagerfeld’s closest collaborators and friends have joined forces to pay tribute to Karl’s legacy by reinterpreting his most favoured design: the white shirt. ‘For me, the white shirt is the basis of everything,’ the designer once mused. ‘Everything else comes after.’
The seven shirts – by Carine Roitfeld, Cara Delevingne, Tommy Hilfiger, Sébastien Jondeau, Diane Kruger, Kate Moss and Takashi Murakami – will all be available to buy on Farfetch from 26 September 2019, with proceeds going to the Sauver La Vie charity initiative for medical research at the Paris Descartes University.
As we countdown to launch, find out more about each shirt below...
CARINE ROITFIELD'S TRIBUTE
The curator behind ‘A Tribute to Karl Lagerfeld: The White Shirt Project’, Carine Roitfeld, is a longtime collaborator of Karl’s, the style advisor to his namesake label and one of his closest friends. A visionary in her own right, Carine re-energised Karl’s love for form-fitting shape in her shirt with corset detailing. ‘Every seam line has a purpose,’ says Carine. ‘My shirt is made with strong boning, and then I opened one side of the collar so it’s as if you ripped it. Karl liked tight shirts and high collars, but I love an open neckline.’ says Carine.
DIANE KRUGER'S TRIBUTE
New York-based German actress Diane Kruger was a muse and personal friend of Karl’s. ‘I could hear his voice in my head giving me a lesson about simplicity,’ Diane says on her approach to designing her tribute shirt. ‘This project reminded me fondly, once again, of how lucky I am to have known Karl,’ she reflects. “He was someone exceptional and you could feel it when you were in his presence.”
TAKASHI MURAKAMI'S TRIBUTE
Karl and Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami shared a mutual admiration for one another’s work. Remembering one of his favourite moments with Karl – during a photoshoot in New York with Yoko Ono for Interview magazine – Takashi says ‘Karl kindly shot us for about 15 minutes while continuously calling out ‘Beautiful! Beautiful!’. His concentration was so tremendous that he started to break a sweat. It left a lasting impression on me,’ reflects the artist.
CARA DELEVINGNE'S TRIBUTE
Actress, musician and supermodel Cara Delevingne had a close relationship with Karl, both as a muse and close friend. She starred in numerous Chanel shows and campaigns and became one of the house’s most prominent faces. ‘One of my favourite things to do with Karl was to sit with him alone and hear stories about his past,’ she reflects. ‘His life was so fascinating.’ She recalls how he helped her on a personal level; ‘Karl let me explore myself and opened me up to something I hadn’t seen in a while, and for that, I will be forever grateful. I miss him so much.’
KATE MOSS' TRIBUTE
Kate and Karl’s friendship dates back to when her career first started nearly 30 years ago back in the early 1990s. Still one of the world’s most recognisable models, Kate also now works behind the camera on editorials and manages her own talent agency, Kate Moss Agency, representing poet Sonny Hall, whose work features on her shirt. ‘I believe Karl would have loved him,’ she says of the spoken word artist. ‘The poem is called “Clutching Pens” and it’s about laughter and happiness. Karl was always holding a pen and laughing, I think it’s the perfect tribute to him.’
SÉBASTIEN JONDEAU'S TRIBUTE
Karl’s personal assistant for over 20 years and a true confidant of his, Sébastien Jondeau met the designer back in the early nineties and went on to model menswear for his eponymous label in 2005, before becoming an integral part of the design team in 2017. Today he remains an influential member of the Maison Karl Lagerfeld family. ‘My shirt was inspired by ‘Kaptain Karl’ – like a boat captain, but not interpreted so literally,’ he explains. ‘The red trims were inspired by the border that Karl always put on his sketches and drawings.’
TOMMY HILFIGER'S TRIBUTE
Fellow designer Tommy Hilfiger was an admirer of Karl’s for many years in his early career, before they became collaborators and close friends. ‘The energy and passion that Karl had for his work set the benchmark for creativity,’ Tommy reflects. ‘His influence on our industry is unparalleled and will always live on.’ Speaking of his design, he notes how it blends both his and Karl’s aesthetics. ‘I was inspired by his lucky number, seven, which is represented through the seven stars on each side of the shirt’s placket,’ he explains. ‘And we added the Tommy stripe detail to the shoulder and reimagined Karl’s signature gloves in our classic colours of red, white and blue.’