Last month the fashion world was shocked to hear the passing of a legendary icon, Karl Lagerfeld. His extensive career and decades of dedication to the brands of Fendi and Chanel were mourned along with the innovative and creative genius himself. As a result, these two iconic fashion brands are faced with replacing a legend while maintaining his loyal band of followers and the brands’ creative identities. This could mean a visible shift for the brands moving forward. This month we examine and predict how Lagerfeld’s passing could affect the future of Chanel and Fendi, specifically the resale and consignment of Lagerfeld-era Chanel and Fendi goods.
Upon Lagerfeld’s passing, Chanel announced Virginie Viard as the person who would continue his work with the fashion house. Previously, Viard was a relatively unknown company insider and director of the Chanel fashion creation studio while she was Lagerfeld’s right-hand woman for more than 30 years. On the other hand, Fendi has yet to announce Lagerfeld’s successor , which some could presume means further shifts within the luxury brand.
Since Lux Second Chance is in the luxury consignment market, this blog wouldn’t be complete without predicting, or better yet, already seeing the result of a huge influx of sales of Chanel and Fendi goods. Collectors and fashionistas alike are scrambling at the chance to own a Chanel and/or Fendi piece from the Lagerfeld reign. Luxury consignment stores globally have seen an increase in searches, page views, and purchases of Chanel and Fendi products, most popular being the iconic Baguette bag, relaunched by Fendi this past February .
Along with physical vintage stores, merchants say there has been an increased demand for Chanel in particular, specially 90s’-era designs as it was a very iconic time for the brand . For handbag demands, shoppers are gravitating towards both staples Chanel pieces; the Flap and Boy bags, as well as vintage and novelty styles such as the Hula Hoop and Lego Clutch .
Speaking to WWD, Ashley Ricketts, Luxe manager of ThredUp explains, “The resale market plays an integral role in commemorating late designers by giving new life to their past collections.” She continues on to say, “Greater scarcity results in greater demand. In the coming weeks, we expect to see a surge in the sale of Karl Lagerfeld-era Fendi and Chanel pieces. We also anticipate an increase in the consignment of these brands, and it’s possible that some iconic or rare styles will command higher prices.”
In order to bring in more Fendi and Chanel stock, consignment retailers are offering major increases in commission percentages for sellers as incentive to cash in on their Fendi and Chanel goods while the demand is still high .
Experts say it is too soon to see a significant rise in price for these sought after goods, however, the renewed interest in the brands means an influx in price of resales is likely . While the progression of the resales of Fendi and Chanel are not yet concrete, it is safe to say that as a result of Lagerfeld’s passing, collectors want a piece of that history before the brands’ move into a post-Lagerfeld era.
Should shoppers invest now, or wait until the hysteria dies down? Certainly we’ve already seen the commercial response to the death of the beloved designer. Buyers are already searching out the best deals before everything gets too inflated . Conclusively, experts believe the hype and demand for Lagerfeld-era designs is not going anywhere. Demand for Chanel and Fendi goods have always been consistently high, which means there will never be an ideal time to purchase a Lagerfeld Chanel or Fendi piece at a bargain price .
Moving forward, consignment retailers have already started labeling Chanel pieces to specify those designed by Lagerfeld as they do for pieces designed by Coco Chanel. Our suggestion is to seek out this information and/or year of manufacturing to confirm you’re purchasing a Lagerfeld-era piece before you drop serious money on a piece of fashion history.
In conclusion, Karl Lagerfeld was not only a force to be reckoned with within Chanel and Fendi, but the fashion industry as a whole. It is without a doubt that he will go down in fashion’s history as one of the greatest of all time, along with other greats such as Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Alexander McQueen, and one time companion of Lagerfeld’s, Yves Saint-Laurent. With over 50 years since he first started at Fendi (later Chanel in 1983) , there are not many who can say they’ve had a career as long and influential as his. Although the fashion world still mourns the loss of an icon, many can hardly anticipate the change on the horizon for these two brands and how that will shape the industry moving forward.
To shop Chanel and Fendi products, click on the links below:
- Tamara Abraham, “Karl Lagerfeld’s legacy: should you be investing in a piece of fashion history?”, The Telegraph, February 27, 2019. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/style/karl-lagerfelds-legacy-should-investing-piece-fashion-history/
- Sharon Edelson, “Interest in Chanel Spikes on News of Karl Lagerfeld’s Death”, WWD, February 20, 2019. https://wwd.com/business-news/retail/interest-in-chanel-spikes-on-news-of-karl-lagerfelds-death-1203038689/
- Elizabeth Paton and Vanessa Friedman, “After Karl Lagerfeld, What’s Next for Chanel and Fendi?”, The New York Times, February 19, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/19/fashion/karl-lagerfeld-chanel-fendi.html
- Lauren Sams, “Fendi and Chanel resales skyrocket after Lagerfeld’s death”, Australian Financial Review, March 14, 2019. https://www.afr.com/lifestyle/fashion/fendi-and-chanel-resales-skyrocket-after-lagerfelds-death-20190314-h1cdqo
- “About the Man: Karl Lagerfeld”, Karl Lagerfeld. February 2019. https://www.karl.com/experience/us/biography/