Nadja Swarovski and celebrities honour Karl Lagerfeld with a white shirt

Nadja Swarovski is celebrating Karl Lagerfeld’s memory and legacy by joining a global community of creative talents to reimagine his most iconic design: the white shirt, to be showcased during Spring/Summer20 Paris Fashion Week. 

Curated by Carine Roitfeld, a creative visionary and a longtime friend, the project is partnering exclusively with Farfetch, with all proceeds donated to the ‘Sauver la Vie’ charity initiative, which funds medical research at the Paris Descartes University and which Lagerfeld supported for many years.

Alongside Nadja Swarovski, a host of artists, actors, models, designers and friends have been invited to create their own version of his iconic white shirt, including Amber Valletta, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastien Jondeau and Alessandro Michele. Of his signature garment, Lagerfeld once said: “If you ask me what I’d most like to have invented in fashion, I’d say the white shirt. For me, the white shirt is the basis of everything. Everything else comes after.”

The Swarovski shirt features cuffs that shimmer with a galaxy of Hotfix stones, as well as crystals hidden inside the placket of the classic fly-front design. In a nod to the playful wit that characterised the work of this giant of the fashion world, Lagerfeld’s image is captured on the reverse of the shirt in a pixelated transfer of 6000 crystals. 

Seven of the project’s designs will each be replicated 77 times and went on sale on Karl.com and Farfetch.com yesterday at €777 per piece. 

The number seven was chosen as it was the designer’s lucky number and represented many elements in his life: his favorite arrondissement in Paris (the 7th), and the name of his bookshop and publishing house (7L). The original shirts went on display at a private exhibition at the Maison Karl Lagerfeld this week and will tour selected Karl Lagerfeld stores worldwide from next week.

“It is an incredible honor to have been asked to pay tribute to Karl,” said Nadja Swarovski, a member of the Swarovski board. “It was also highly intimidating to attempt to create something aesthetically acceptable in honour of one of fashion’s best talents. Nonetheless my team and I had a great time completing and realising our design ideas in his honour. Long live King Karl!”

Holli Rogers, chief brand officer of Farfetch, described the tribute as “amazing”. 

“The huge level of support that has been pledged by some of the world’s most exciting tastemakers is testament to Karl’s legacy and the impact he made globally. We are excited to give Farfetch customers the opportunity to own these limited-edition pieces, that will forever be a wonderful tribute to Karl, whilst simultaneously giving back to the ‘Sauver la Vie’ charity, a worthy cause so close to Karl’s heart.”

Favorite memory

Nadja Swarovski recalls working with Karl lagerfeld on the jeweller’s Atelier Swarovski collection. 

“We met in his office and he immediately started sketching, flinging them into the air as he worked. In the end, the floor was covered with sketches and three remained on desk, which were the pieces we went on to create,” she recalls.

“It was inspiring to be around him as he worked. I was also delighted when he agreed to participate in the creation of a jewelry piece to empower the young debutantes of the Vienna Opera Ball. He totally embraced the concept, creating a majestic traditional tiara with a modern twist, featuring a local reference of the Danube river in large, sapphire blue crystals.”

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