Behind the scenes of the “Karl Lagerfeld” brand activation

Author: Luc Malcorps

Several weeks ago, Virginie Achouchon dedicated her article on DocNews to the launch of the fashion brand “Karl”. She interviewed both Caroline Lebar, Director of communication of Karl Lagerfeld, and Manuel Diaz, President of Emakina.FR. In answering her questions, they both enjoyed looking back at how this success story all began.

Back in January, when fashion icon, Karl Lagerfeld, created his prèt-à-porter brand, he actually started a revolution.  Emakina.FR was proud to take a vital part of this revolution.

Karl is a top-end collection in terms of design and production, yet, its price range makes it highly accessible. Going ‘digital’ was a natural and necessary step for reaching the brand’s target audience. Emakina.FR developed a tailor-made digital strategy, to launch the new brand with style and finesse.

The launch of the brand was officially announced at the “Le Web 2011” conference, with Manuel Diaz on stage along with Karl Lagerfeld. No other fashion house had ever started  a new brand through the digital world. A perfect illustration was the creation of an exclusive pop-up store on  net-à-porter; which is also accessible on mobile devices by scanning with the shop windows shops in Paris, New York, London, Berlin and Sydney.

The introduction for the press was also a first-of-its-kind. A large group of editors-in-chief, who were visiting France for fashion shows, were invited for an elegant candlelight dinner with Karl Lagerfeld. The ‘dessert’ was an iPad, customised with Karl’s profile, which was granted to each of the guests. Once opening the application, the brand’s promotion film was launched and each editor gained access to all the collections’ look book.

Caroline Lebar and Manuel Diaz were also hosted on the World of Karl, an exclusive immersion in the world of Karl Largerfeld, to discuss their preferences in art and culture, travel and of course fashion. You can also discover and share a collection of ‘Karlisms’, smart Lagerfeld quotes on life and fashion.

Karl Largerfeld is clearly an exceptional man in the fashion world;  full of inspiration and culture he likes to share, well beyond his collections. This makes him a perfect match for social media. As evidence, his Facebook page has grown into a reference authority. While others talk about creating a community, Karl just did it. he orchestrated the action by sharing  his ideas and passion.  Candice Collomb at the company manages the social media activation, in close collaboration with Emakina.

Manuel Diaz: “Karl Lagerfeld is an extraordinary visionary. He understood and analysed his previous experience of working together with H&M and immediately adapted his thinking. He enjoys the enthusiasm and the interactions through his presence on the web. He is very much in touch with the Internet, not as a practitioner but as a believer.”

Caroline Lebar: “You have to post fun things in social media, keeping the right balance, to avoid spamming your fans. Facebook is like a living person. You must be vigilant, respectful. You must post wisely, and to the point. We work on this together with Emakina. We have a lot to tell and could easily post five or six updates per day. We hold back. We have reached 350,000 fans in six months. That  is a real success, one which we created without a promotional strategy or any media buying. Buying fans, that is totally unthinkable.


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