Yesterday all I did was whine about how I’ll never be able to afford any of the pretty things Karl Lagerfeld makes. Today I’m eating my words.
Because you all like to scour the Internet and read blogs and stuff, you probably already know that this morning, at exactly 10:30 a.m., the legendary man with the fan brought fashion to the masses, launching an exclusive Karl by Karl Lagerfeld diffusion line with that money sucking monster, Net-A-Porter.
At first I was pumped and THEN I remembered the Missoni for Target online debacle and got nervous. So rather than wait for the inevitable site collapse (which Net-A-Porter swore wouldn’t happen), I decided to get up super early (read: 8 a.m.) and head over to the Karl pop-up shop on Bleecker Street, open TODAY ONLY to celebrate the launch.
But because this is Karl’s world we’re talking about, the pop-up shop was anything but what you’d expect.
Pop-up shops are kind of funny. Everyone loves them because they don’t require any commitment. You don’t ever have to utter the words, “Karl is probably my favorite store,” but you can look at people with haughty disbelief when they say, “ugh, I didn’t get to make it to the Karl pop-up shop.”
And this was certainly one they didn’t want to miss. I got there around 9:45 a.m., lured out into the cold by the prospect of a free Karl tote bag if I could somehow manage to be one of the first 50 in line. And because I’m the luckiest girl ever, I was.
Actually there were only about 10 people there waiting in front of me, including two male models in suits (who were like, REALLY tall) standing guard by the curtain-covered window. But come 9:55 a.m., that line had grown by around 8 million percent.
Despite the low temps, I was still able to coax my fingers out of my pockets to take fun pictures of Team Karl staff members dressed in puffy winter jackets and vans that would have otherwise looked really creepy roaming up and down Bleecker Street had they not been plastered with that oh-so-famous profile.
Oh, and then I downloaded the Karl for Net-A-Porter iPhone app because Team Karl told me to and Karlified a picture of my boyfriend.
But none of that really matters. It was finally 10:30 a.m. (!!) and the curtain over the window dropped to reveal–wait for it, WAIT FOR IT–pictures (???) of models wearing pieces from the collection. Which didn’t seem like a big deal until suddenly there were iPads and smartphones everywhere and people were taking pictures and I was like whaaa??
And then I realized. This is the future.
Allow me to explain. That Karl iPhone app? Not just for Karlifying. There’s a feature that lets you scan pictures of models, and then you pick a piece they’re wearing that you want, give it a tap, hit purchase and just like that, it’s yours. No dressing rooms. No check-out lines. Just tap tap tap.
Inside I was expecting racks of clothes and really pointy elbows, but it was pretty much exactly the same iPhone magic as outside only with more looks from the collection to choose from. A naked pop-up shop with no actual merchandise.
You could also win $1,500 along with various other items if you happened to tap the right article of clothing at the right time. Which I didn’t. But at that point I didn’t even mind because I had already gotten my free tote AND a complementary leather collar AND a Team Karl t-shirt AND I realized there was a coffee bar at the back of the room where barristas were giving out Karluccinos on the house. I left caffeinated and not bruised. A success by pop-up shop standards.
As for the actual collection (which, let’s be serious, is all you guys really care about), it’s your typical Karl glam on a (sort of) real person budget. Pieces range from $60 for cute cut-out black leather gloves to $1,500 for a legit bomber jacket. It’s all pretty sporty—like, we’re literally talking black sequin gym shorts—but in an ultra cool way that makes me think hey, maybe I could pull of a biker vest. Everything is either black, silver or shiny, but then again of course it is. It’ll delight the legions of Lagerfeld fans, and also everyone else. Check it out here.
I should probably rename my blog Karl à la mode since he’s the only person I ever talk about.
How much do you think I could get if I put my Karl t-shirt up for sale on ebay?
Just kidding. I could never.
P.S. A friendly staff member told me the virtual store window will probably still be up tomorrow. And if you have time tonight, the store is open until 7:30 p.m. Head on over to 375 Bleecker Street, to the storefront where Tommy Hilfiger used to be.
Alright, let’s hear your thoughts. Karl diffusion line–cool or not cool? And a virtual pop-up shop?! Is this the future of fashion?
**UPDATE: Racked reports there’s going to be a REAL pop-up shop with REAL clothes at the same location Friday! You’ll probably wanna go.