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Sotheby’s unveils the collection of Karl Lagerfeld

Being offered later this year and the beginning of next, Sotheby’s will bring to auction the curated collection of Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld

September 15, 2021: The great late designer Karl Lagerfeld’s most personal collection – from the art he lived with to the items in his wardrobe – is being presented by Sotheby’s during a series of eight auctions which would be staged across Monaco, Paris and Cologne. These auctions will offer an anthology of the multifaceted and surprising designer’s personal taste, with the more than one thousand lots including fine art, fashion, design and personal ephemera. 

A brand unto himself, Karl Lagerfeld was a quasi-intergenerational rock star of the 2000s. He remained ever relevant and always at the forefront of his game, continually rewriting the rulebook and capturing the imagination of the fashion world with his distinctive look and inimitable presence. He became the Artistic Director of Fendi from 1965, Chanel from 1983 and Chloé from 1991, and launched his own ready-to wear house in the same year, becoming the guiding figure of the luxury industry that he helped to build.

An insatiable collector with an eclectic eye, tickled by its humour, he opted for the colourful, fun design of the Memphis Group in the 1980s. Then turning to the French decorative arts of the 18th century, which he considered an ideal of elegance and refinement, he held a passion for the Art Deco period that adorned his Biarritz and Monaco residences throughout his life, which he described as “the roots of modernity, the modernity that I am always looking for”. He acquired contemporary design by the likes of Mark Newson, Martin Szekely and Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec during the last 20 years of his life, creating a new futuristic aesthetic in his homes. The works of his favourite designers, Louis Süe and André Mare, was what he remained faithful to throughout his long collecting career, and whose ethos, ‘Evolution in Tradition’, he stayed true to.

The last home that he purchased, Pavillon de Voisins in Louveciennes near Paris, has a somewhat unexpected aesthetic. The décor is inspired by his German roots, and goes back to the grand designs from the turn of the 20th century, and creations of 1920s Germany, most notably featuring designs by fellow countrymen such as Bruno Paul, set alongside early 20th century German advertising posters which he had collected over three decades.

The other artists represented in this extraordinary collection include Marc Newson, Konstantin Grcic, Martin Szekely, Maarten Van Severen for contemporary design; Louis Süe and André Mare for Art Deco; and George Lepape (a French fashion designer, poster artist, engraver and illustrator particularly representative of the 1930s) and Ludwig Hohlwein, one of the most prolific and inventive poster and graphic designers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The sale will also include the personal effects of Karl Lagerfeld, all of a fine quality. The dishes of Choupette (the cat who shared the last eight years of the designer’s life); household linens; his three Rolls Royce cars; more than 200 of his emblematic fingerless leather gloves, which he wore constantly for over 20 years; a selection of designer suit jackets by Dior, YSL, KL, Comme des Garçons and Martin Margiela as well as an astounding number of Goyard suitcases. Karl Lagerfeld became his own brand, and his immediately recognisable look is represented in figurines by Tiffany Cooper and Tokidoki, as well as on Fendi keychains and iPhone cases.

The sales calendar has been chalked out as:

Monaco: December 3-5, 2021

Paris: December 14-15, 2021

Cologne: March 2022

The online sales are slated for:

Session I: November 26 to December 6, 2021

Session II: December 6-16, 2021