karl lagerfeld is building a club and hotel empire
The celebrated creative director is broadening his design horizons, from the runway to resorts and restaurants.
Over his illustrious, decade-spanning tenure at the helm of Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld has designed supermarkets, airports, and casinos — if only for the house's larger-than-life runway shows inside Paris's Grand Palais. Yet a new long-term licensing deal with international hospitality brand Brandmark Collective BV will reportedly see Kaiser Karl expanding his empire off the catwalk, too.
WWD reports that the pact will "translate the designer's graphic esthetic into a range of bespoke projects including hotels, residential properties, restaurants and private clubs." These properties — while the first projects under the newly minted Karl Lagerfeld Hospitality — are not Lagerfeld's interior design debut. He's been commissioned to design lobbies for luxury residences in Toronto and Miami; in 2014, it was reported that his first hotel — a 270-room, 20-story tower — would open in 2017. It's located in Macau, where Donatella Versace is also plotting to open her first Asian Palazzo Versace outpost.
Versace's debut Palazzo, which opened on Australia's Gold Coast back in 2000, was billed as the first ever fashion-branded hotel. Giorgio Armani and Bulgari have since joined Donatella and Karl in the luxury property game, while Miuccia Prada tapped Wes Anderson to design her Milanese Fondazione's bar.
What will these Hotel Karlifornias entail? Brandmark Collective CEO Tony Kurz says the partnership seeks to "[celebrate] the designer's unique talent and approach to fashion and lifestyle," which — as evidenced by his complex, fantastical Chanel show sets — could basically be anything. A post-apocalyptic forest, complete with real living trees, soundtracked by The Cure? Possibly. An enormous, double-C monogrammed carousel in the lobby? Wouldn't be the first time. We'll see you at check in.
Text Emily Manning
Photography Han Myung-Gu/ Getty Images