Karl Lagerfeld’s long-overdue first collab with a Black designer is here and it’s summer personified

Written by Naomi May

Former LVMH finalist Kenneth Ize has joined forces with the house of Karl Lagerfeld on a collection that fuses his Nigerian and Austrian heritage. The result? A line brimming with optimistic bold and bright hues.

Two years on from the revered, yet problematic, designer’s death, the house of Karl Lagerfeld, which is now helmed by his protégée, Carine Roitfeld, has unveiled its first collaboration with a Black fashion designer.

Proposed by Roitfeld, who Lagerfeld appointed as contributor to his eponymous brand just weeks before his death, the collaboration with Kenneth Ize, a finalist for the revered LVMH Prize in 2019, fuses Ize’s Nigerian and Austrian heritage with an optimistically bright and bold collection.

Each fabric incorporated in the line, which includes keychains and a phone bag, is sourced from Nigeria, which Ize says is at the heart of his brand. “I want my brand to help my community, to build them up and serve as a platform to show them to the world,” he says. 

Kenneth Ize x Karl Lagerfeld

“This was such an incredible experience,” Ize says of the collection. “It allowed me to play with the brand’s existing style codes and expand my own approach to design. I hope the public falls in love with the result.”

Kenneth Ize x Karl Lagerfeld

Born in Lagos, Ize spent his formative years in Austria before he launched his namesake label in 2013, which combines influences from the two countries in which he has inhabited. “There’s an elegancy to Austria and an extravaganza to Nigeria – it’s fascinating to combine these two things together,” the Lagos-based designer notes.  

Kenneth Ize

Lagerfeld, the former creative director of Chanel and Fendi, established his namesake brand in 1984, a year after he assumed the top role at Chanel. The German native eventually sold the brand to the Tommy Hilfiger group in 2005. Among Karl Lagerfeld’s previous designer collaborations are Kaia Gerber and Puma.

Shop Karl Lagerfeld x Kenneth Ize at Browns Fashion and FarFetch now. Prices range from £99 to £695. 

Images: courtesy of Karl Lagerfeld.

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