Merging styles and attitudes alike while celebrating the essence and importance of what makes craftsmanship so unique, Karl Lagerfeld, for the second time, have been working on a capsule collection with the man accredited with putting Africa's fashion scene on the global stage for a new generation, Kenneth Ize.
With patterns inspired by traditional Aso Oke cloth (translating to 'cloth from the hinterland') and fabrics sourced from Nigeria, the capsule collection balances both brands' signatures, evidenced by Karl Lagerfeld's continued use of black and white shades that have been retouched and transformed by bright pops of colour for the collection. The result? A capsule collection that is comprised of ready-to-wear, gender-neutral styles and accessories that see a clash of two worlds colliding - 'a glowing celebration of culture' which fuses Nigerian and European style. Referring to the collaboration as 'an incredible experience' Ize commented, 'It allowed me to play with the brand's existing style codes and expand my own approach to design. 'I hope the public falls in love with the result'.
The collection includes a range of narrow-cut pieces that are also sharply tailored - a style choice that has become somewhat of a signature amongst Ize's designs. From structured, slim-fitting knitted tops and mix-match pants to more 'flowing silhouettes' that evoke more of a casual feel, all pieces, when styled together, can either be dressed up or down due to the collection's overall flexible tone. Merino wool-cotton blends, silks and Italian hemp materials are all fabrics that have been adopted to create the collection; co-designed by design director of Karl Lagerfeld Hun Kim with Kenneth Ize and curated by style advisor Carine Roitfeld.
Discussing the originality that Kenneth Ize upholds, fashion icon Roitfeld said in a statement:
'There's a freshness to Kenneth's designs that is so very different, and it creates a nice contrast to the brand's DNA. I'm certain that Karl would have loved the collection and its exploration of colour and culture.'
Ize's main goal is a humble one. 'I want my brand to help my community, to build them up and serve as a platform to show them to the world.' It's clear that Ize's roots are firmly planted in his hometown of Lagos, Nigeria. The designer's first show, straight after he graduated from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, saw his designs sent down the catwalk at Lagos Fashion Week for S/S 14. After returning to Vienna to study an MA in fashion in the meantime, Ize's comeback planted African fashion on the international stage for a new audience - sending his brand flying.
'We are thrilled to continue our ongoing collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld and this collection with Kenneth Ize. We have been supporting Kenneth since the beginning, he has a unique point of view, and a strong vision that coupled with his desire to celebrate local artisans and support his heritage makes him an incredible partner to continue to build on the legacy of Karl Lagerfeld. With craftsmanship and innovating for the future at its core, it is exciting to be able to bring Farfetch and Browns customers around the globe this truly unique and timely collection,' said Holli Rogers, the chair of Browns and chief brand officer of Farfetch.
Retailing at £85 to £600, the collection will be available in two Karl Lagerfeld stores - one in Saint Germain, Paris, the other in London's Regent Street store. It will also be stocked online at Karl.com, Farfetch.com, and Brownsfashion.com from 7 July.