Lagerfeld Looks From Last Night




We all remember the headlines Karl Lagerfeld made when his H&M collection launched in 2004. Now he’s returned to the world of collaboration with Macy’s Impulse. Last night at Manhattan’s YellowKorner gallery, he unveiled new pieces for the Fall 2011 capsule collection. Live models stood on platforms in front of the Lagerfeld-shot campaign starring Coco Rocha.

Priced between $50 and $170 (a steal!), the dresses and separates came mostly in a palette of black, grays and pinks. You could immediately recognize Karl’s style in his trademarked use of tweeds, high collars, and classic styles like polished mod and tough-flirty. The tailored tuxedo dress was the most popular among the crowd. “Karl said that dress will look good on every woman,” explained Tim Baxter, Macy’s SVP/DMM Impulse Inc./Neo Collections and Casual Sportswear. 

We chatted with Baxter to get the full story behind the collection.

KELLEY HOFFMAN: How did Karl Lagerfeld come to be involved in Impulse?

TIM BAXTER: When we embarked on this journey of doing designer collaborations about 18 months ago, we were really focused on having a variety of kinds of designers—emerging talent like Kinder Aggugini, who we worked with in February, who was our first collaboration, to the most celebrated, iconic fashion talent. We knew that in September, in a month when we all celebrate fashion, we wanted to have someone iconic and so we approached Karl, and he was very, very excited about doing a collaboration with us. What was really extraordinary about working with him was how in tune he was in wanting the collection to be his aesthetic. He did 60 or 70 sketches for us as a starting point for us for the collection.

HOFFMAN: I see the campaign features Coco Rocha, which is pretty amazing.

BAXTER: He was very instrumental in choosing who would be the muse for the campaign, and obviously we respect his decision. She’s incredible. So he has a very clear vision of how each of the pieces should be presented, and he knew he needed to work with someone that would be reflective of that. He always has a muse, he had that in mind from the beginning.

HOFFMAN: What kind of woman do you think will buy this collection?

BAXTER: I think it’s going to appeal to an extraordinarily broad group of people. I think he is so iconic, and his looks are so iconic. I do think it’s going to appeal mostly to a really young, contemporary fashion customer who really understands that they’re really getting a piece of Karl Lagerfeld for an incredible, incredible price. But I also think it’s going to appeal to a more classic consumer that respects and loves him for his other lines.

HOFFMAN: Can you tell us what designers you have next lined up for Impulse?

BAXTER: I can’t. I can only tell you I don’t think we can get any more celebrated than Karl. But he is very excited about the people who are going to be following him—he knows those folks and we’re very excited about the people who will be following him. As we move through the balance of fall and into 2012, it will be a great combination of emerging, established, and very celebrated designers.