If you were wondering what “mass elitism” means to Karl Lagerfeld, it seems the story begins with him — the elitism — working with a store for the masses: Macy’s. Karl will design a capsule collection for Macy’s to be sold in 250 stores and on the Internet beginning in September of next year. His Macy’s line is the first in the retailer’s new designer series, through which designer lines will rotate in the Impulse section of the store every two months. The cycle then begins in February 2012 with former John Galliano employee Kinder Aggugini, followed by Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, Calvin Klein, Costume National, and Versace. To think — Donatella at Macy’s! We’d have sooner expected to see her doing her own shopping at Rite Aid.
Macy’s has had several high-profile collaborations, with Madonna and designers like Rachel Roy and Tommy Hilfiger. But their lines have never induced the same mayhem as an H&M launch, while Karl’s H&M collection sold out in hours, and Lanvin’s line for the store had people dropping thousands. It’s hard to imagine fashion-fan riots in Macy’s over clothes, but maybe this is the beginning of a new era.
While Karl’s Macy’s line won’t technically constitute “masstige,” sources say, the Kaiser is working on another true masstige line launching for fall 2011, mostly for women but with some men’s items too.