Kaia Gerber, 16, will collaborate on a ‘capsule collection’ with Karl Lagerfeld

The Fashion Awards 2017

“Capsule collections” are the way forward for many fashion houses looking to cash in on mass-market models and Millennials. Major designers have done “capsule collections” for Target and other mass retail stories, and many designers have done collaborations with younger models or celebrities, looking for synergy and appeal to a new generation. One of the first examples to come to mind was Gigi Hadid’s capsule collection with Tommy Hilfiger, which I believe sold well and worked on the whole because it was on-brand for Gigi and Gigi was on-brand with Hilfiger. So… what do you make of this? Kaia Gerber, who is 16 years old (but looks about 12) is doing a “capsule collection” with… Karl Lagerfeld. IS THIS ON BRAND?

To state the obvious, Kaia Gerber is not your normal 16-year-old. Even for the spawn of supermodel Cindy Crawford, the Malibu native has had an incredible first year in the fashion industry, making her runway debut for Raf Simons at the Calvin Klein show, followed by turns on the catwalk for Prada, Versace and Moschino. Last October, she landed the coveted opportunity to open for Chanel.

Now, Gerber is getting her hands dirty with design, too, working with Karl Lagerfeld on a capsule collection of apparel and accessories which will hit Karl Lagerfeld stores and select wholesalers in September. (We mean, even Gigi Hadid waited until she was the ripe old age of 20 to begin her design collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger.)

According to WWD, the capsule will fuse Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic with Gerber’s West Coast-cool vibe, and include jewelry, footwear, sunglasses and more, in addition to the ready-to-wear offering.

“We have been working intensely over the last months with Kaia in L.A. and at our studio in Paris,” Karl Lagerfeld CEO Pier Paolo Righi told the magazine. “It was exciting to see her clear vision, passion and engagement, and the collection will definitely inspire many young women.”

[From THR]

I just feel like… et tu, Karl? Granted, there were already signs that Karl isn’t above some gauche stunts to prove his relevancy. He made a Chanel-branded fake Walmart into a Paris runway show. He’s hired Cara Delevingne and Kendall Jenner to walk Chanel runways, for the love of God. He’s fine with nepotism hires, and if this was a story about him hiring Kaia for the runway, I wouldn’t have a huge problem with it (except for the fact that she, again, looks 12 years old). But he’s hiring a 16-year-old to “design” a collection of sh-t that will just be gaudy and overworked. All to appeal to the youths/Millennials. Meanwhile, I’m sure Karl’s true customer base is mostly women aged 35 to 65, and this move feels like it’s alienating that base.

Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2018 - Chanel - Catwalk

The British Fashion Awards 2017

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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54 Responses to “Kaia Gerber, 16, will collaborate on a ‘capsule collection’ with Karl Lagerfeld”

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  1. SilverUnicorn says:

    I cannot get over the fact some of these young ladies are marketed as models… they are tall and pretty but not exceptional… doh.

    And I utterly dislike Lagerfeld, so if he loses some of his fanbase… great.

    • Alix says:

      Agree. With the exception of Gigi Hadid, who I do think has some talent, they’re all just dead-eyed clotheshorses.

      • minx says:

        I like Gigi, she actually has an expressive face. Her sister, Kaia, Kendall, etc. are just duds IMO.

      • OriginalLala says:

        i commented in the wrong place. oops

      • LadyT says:

        I saw Kaia walk a runway and she was exceptionally good at it. I am usually one to scoff at the emphasis on such a seemingly “simple” thing, and yet it was truly eye-catching. She’s talented in that aspect.

      • Whoopsy Daisy says:

        I actually think both Hadid sisters are good models. Gigi is commercial, but Bella has a very interesting look and she looks great in pictures.

        Still, Cara D is the best nepotism model by far, at least when it comes to editorials, runway not so much.

      • Malako says:

        Kaia Gerber isn’t known for her fashion sense, is she?
        Gigi Hadid did that MOMA fashion gala a few times and has some exceptional pics out there. But Kaia? She is pretty but bland so far. I am not sure Kaia will help Chanel sell anything. And nope, I doubt that Kaia can add to the design in any way. At 16? How much life experience can she have? Does she have any kind of degree in fashion or design or art? Any practical work experience? Sorry, but I don’t buy that word “collaborate”. Kaia will be the clotheshorse who will parade that capsule collection. Fine with me. But don’t sell me “collaborate”.

        Chanel’s customers are ageing out of Chanel and Chanel has trouble recruiting today’s young professionals. Lagerfeld has been at the helm of Chanel for too long and that ain’t good for Chanel.

    • toDaze says:

      I know it’s redundant, but the Supermodels were original, notably beautiful, muscular women. I haven’t even purchased a fashion magazine since the advent of the heroine chic; I unequivocably protest anorexia or ill health in fashion. Maybe the “Supermodels” dieted, but they “read” as vibrant and healthy.

  2. Red says:

    That’s why I don’t get the appeal of high fashion using nepotism models. Young girls that are fans of Kendull and Cara do not have the money for Chanel, Estée Lauder,etc. Heck, I’m 29 and do not have the money for Tommy Hilfiger. They can’t be seeing increase in sales, so why even bother.

    • OriginalLala says:

      I was surprised to find out that my younger cousins (in their very early 20s just done their BAs) buy luxury brand makeup and clothes, and it’s not like their parents are rich or anything. They just spend all the money they make at their jobs on high end clothes and makeup. They also all live at home. It shocking how much spending money you have when unencumbered by rent and utilities 😉

      • Malako says:

        I think that that can be blamed partly on this aspect of career that has been increased in importance in the 21st century: self-marketing. And clothes are part of it. In too many offices it is more important how you look and how you schmooze with the boss than the work you do. It is sufficient to “look the part” but it ain’t necessary to “do the work” any more. As long as you boss believes you were good you get the job and the promotion and and and.

    • MJC says:

      Depending on the stores where the sell the collection, you’d be surprised. Kids in NYC, LA, Dallas, etc. do buy that high end stuff because they have carte Blanche with their parents credit cards. Went to a Bat Mitzvah in NYC a few years ago and was amazed at what the kids, girls mainly, were wearing. Have never seen so many Loubitans and Monolos in one place, and again, these were the kids.

    • anon14 says:

      @Malako: you hit the nail on the head. It’s all about the “brand” now. So many books, sites, and employment coaches preach/teach this now, that is, marketing your brand.

  3. cr says:

    “Design’? Don’t they mean ‘curate’? Because it’s highly unlikely that she’s actually designing anything.

  4. Annika says:


  5. Alix says:

    Beyond ridiculous; she’s a CHILD.

    • Snappyfish says:

      Exactly! What does she know about fashion? This is dress up fun for her riding on her mother’s coattails

    • AnneC says:

      Only thing she should be working on is homework and studying for her drivers test. The way these parents are pushing this girl is embarrassingly Kardashian-like.

      • Veronica says:

        And that picture the other day where she is pulling her shorts down past where is decent for a 16 year old. That would be my concern!!
        How thirsty is her mother?

    • Nikki says:

      I thought some fashion group just said they’d stop using models under 18?? Wasn’t it Vogue, after the revelations about abuse in fashion photography? I personally will boycott any line that uses underage models. (But it won’t hurt them a bit, because I can’t afford couture!!) But you’re so right: she is a child!!

      • magnoliarose says:

        I support your boycott. It is not a business for teenaged girls. I will repeat it. Not an industry for teenagers.
        She knows nothing about fashion, and the whole thing is just dumb. There is nothing worse than a former older designer who had an eye and vision stooping to this for relevancy.
        He should stop and just keep writing Choupette posts. Those are at least adorable.

  6. Tiffany says:

    Is Karl still designing ? I really thought he was just a figurehead at this point. Huh, go figure.

  7. Your Mom says:

    I’m tired of her already and she’s only 16. There will be decades more Kaia.

  8. Laura says:

    For those questioning her talent, have you seen her walk? She crushed it. I don’t even care about modeling and I was impressed. And I think she looks about 16, she’s too mature looking in the face to look like 12.

    • Malako says:

      I partly agree. I would agree she looks like a very pretty young 16 but the problem is that she is sold as a young twenty-something judging by the clothes and the style they make her wear. She has the body and the walk but something in her face just doesn’t make me buy the whole deal.

    • magnoliarose says:

      She can walk. She has been practicing since she was 1. lol
      It isn’t as easy as it looks or everyone would be able to do it. Just like not everyone can dance, not everyone can walk. She has a look for the runway, but I don’t see editorial. Her proportions are still like a tween though.
      I can’t stomach that this is Cindy’s goal for her daughter. The cracks are already showing. Why not wait two years. She has the open door and nepotism. But Cindy can’t stand to see the other B/C class Instagram models get anywhere and her competitive nature took over. They peaked, and she hopes Kaia will dominate.

  9. Astrid says:

    I can’t imagine myself wearing anything a crazy old coot/young child “designs”.

  10. Patty says:

    Why? LOL. Does she have any experience in clothing design? Clothing design is an actual craft that people study and work for years to hone. It’s sad this kid, and she is a kid, is gettig an opportunity that someone who has worked hard at their craft will not get. Jeez.

    • Sassyfrass says:

      If it wasn’t because her mother is who she is, this teenager would pass as a regular mall kid.

    • Enigma says:

      I agree – What I find completely annoying about this,,,,is that I find this type of “behavior” tends to completely marginalize the design staff that currently work at Chanel .

      These designers go through rigorous amounts of time and eduction to be where they are, This type of “FLY BY” designing that celebrities do is nothing but an ego boost to the celebrity so they can swan in and claim they designed a line, not to mention , to me it shows how desperate the lable is, if they need to stoop to this level to create a so called “buzzz”.

    • Malako says:

      @ Patty @ Sassyfrass @ Enigma
      You nailed it!

      When I see Kaia Gerber then the advice I would like to give to her is this: take your time to develop and get some life experience and some education. It doesn’t have to be a full-degree but there are also online-courses and such. Mature and develop and I will buy the clothes you advertise.

    • magnoliarose says:

      I agree with you.
      This is the kind of thing I despise with a deep passion. I hate nepotism, and I had unearned rewards.
      Kate Moss was known for her style, so it made sense.
      It is stupid.

  11. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Gawd he looks absurd.

  12. manta says:

    And to think, one day, a long , long time ago Carole Bouquet and Inès de la Fressange were Chanel/Lagerfeld égéries. They definitely seemed more in tune with the Chanel customer.
    Karl never found a replacement for Inès.

    • Enigma says:

      I hear you….Those were some of the most iconic images during that time. Ines was so interesting to look at, and she exuded confidence and chic simutaneosly. I loved that during that time frame the models were ‘Women” not teenegers. I miss that. As time moved on our society has gotten more and more youth oriented (too much so), hence the teens on runways, when the target is women with money who are not teenagers.

      • Malako says:


        And that is why I think this will fail. Kaia looks like a young 16 child-teenager in the face. Not like a young professional. Why should young professionals buy clothes advertised by a young 16 child-teenager? She doesn’t appeal to me though I think she is very very pretty. She just doesn’t have these “strong” beautiful facial features like her mother but she is more child-like pretty-sweet in the face.

      • magnoliarose says:

        It is changing. It became so stupid they were going to 13-year-olds. Models work much longer now. Age is less of an impediment if you look young and there are more markets now for older models.
        Adwoa who won the award with her as a new face is 25. Many of the highest paid models are in their late 20s even early 30s.
        When women ran the show that is how it was. That is how it should be.

  13. Surely Wolfbeak says:

    The Cousin Oliver Collection.

  14. GoesTo11 says:

    Is it the photo/angle or is her face really uneven? I know few people have a perfectly symmetrical face (hello, tooth grinder here), her face looks wonky. Gorgeous and wonky.

  15. j says:

    runway shows and “ready to wear” fashion are just a way to create brand aura in order to sell makeup, perfume, and handbags (70%+ of fashion house’s revenue). they often lose money on it. don’t fall for the hype!


  16. Penelope says:

    I don’t think she looks 12—she looks her age. And she may be great at “model walking” but gorgeous she isn’t. I see 10-15 prettier girls every day, literally.

    • Malako says:

      I think you have a point.
      She is pretty, yes. But she doesn’t have these gorgeous special facial features that make you want to keep looking at her face. Her mother has these features. But when you look at Kaia it is also easy to stop looking at her.

  17. me says:

    I wonder how all the students in design/fashion school feel about this? Now a days you can forget about being a model/actress/fashion designer unless your parents are famous and rich. It really isn’t fair. Also, how many young people can afford to purchase these expensive clothes?

  18. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    Facially, I think Kaia highly resembles Rande Gerber – she has her dad’s close-set eyes and his nose. Maybe even his face shape and eye brow shape. But Presley, he seems to have Cindy’s face – the bone structure, nose..that boy is gorgeous.

    I still think Kaia is adorable, but I wish she’d stop doing that I’m-too-sexy-for-a-closed-mouth thing.

    • MJC says:

      Agree, Presley got the modeling genes and the “it” factor of those kids. In photos and when he’s done runway he stands out; even in ads where he’s part of a group your eye goes to him.

      Kaia is pretty, does have a killer runway walk, and if you look at pics of Cindy when she was that age the resemblance is stronger than it seems now, but if she was in a group shot not sure she’s the one you’d see first.

      • JG says:

        Agree with both of you but think Presley looks just like his dad, while Kaia looks like her mom, but still just doesn’t have the same “look.” It is weird how genetics shake out. Both kids need to gain weight though. Cindy always looked healthy and great.

      • HK9 says:

        Yes-Presley is stunning and has that thing that makes you want to pick up a magazine. Kaia-walks well but that’s it.

  19. applepie says:

    I think she may have had as much exposure to fashion as a lot of us…..her mum’s a true supermodel, she came into the world fabulous! ! I think she looks like she has seen lots in her life so far. She has sad eyes. Personally I think it will be hard walking in her mother’s footsteps. Cindy was just perfection.

  20. Pandy says:

    Karl must be creatively depleted. I’d rather see him collaborate with Choupette! Great more fashion for teenagers.

  21. cindyp says:

    Is this the life her parents want for her? How about graduating from HS, going to college? This family has more $$$ than they could ever need. Gross

  22. Greta says:

    The capsule wouldn’t be for Chanel. It’s for Karl Lagerfeld’s brand, which might only be sold here in Europe. It’s a line full of sweatshirts with cartoon style images of Karl and his cat, furry pompoms to hang on purses, leather biker jackets etc. It’s very much aimes at teens – 20s and the price point, while not cheap, is pretty affordable and it can be found in many of the department stores here grouped with brands like Sandro and Maje for instance. Not that i expect much from her pseudo designs, but she is the target market in this case.