When we first heard the news that the preternatural Karl Lagerfeld is collaborating with luxury pencil, heritage brand Faber-Castell, people were not surprised. ‘Karlbox’, an arty tool kit for around £1,500 will be on sale from September.
Karl exudes drama, excess and even from his Instagram it’d obvious that he’s an avid illustrator. A talented one at that. Based in the fashion hub of the world, Paris, Karl Lagerfeld is currently head designer and creative director at Chanel as well as Fendi. He also has his own fashion label. His bucket bags are to-die-for. Karlbox will be presented in a beautifully detailed, wedding inspired Chinese box.
So when Karl isn’t working on secret projects with Kimmy K and Kanye West or looking after his enormously over pampered cat (cute little Choupette who is more famous that your pet could ever be), he’s there sketching away with his Faber-Castell supplies.
So why so expensive? Well firstly, the collaboration is with the luxurious Faber-Castell brand. Their history stretches back to the 1700’s when cabinet maker, Kaspar Faber began making his own high quality pencils. Faber-Castell also have an unusually detailed social charter too (if only more brands did this). It includes no child labour, decent wages and good working conditions. On Instagram, Faber-Castell already have about 80,000 followers. The equipment is an artists dream with products ranging from pencils to fountain pens, crayons and charcoal. Even Vincent Van Gogh used the pencils.
This expensive yet cheerful little box of art goodies got sparked a thought. Placing a half-chewed Bic biro onto the table and picking up a copy of Vogue for a daily scan of exorbitant new bags and shoes, I thought about savings (or lack of) and considered modern day financial situations.
It’s no secret that the enormous divide in wealth is becoming more and more apparent and it’s known common practice to flaunt it on social media. Yachts, 5 star accommodation, private dining experiences – name it, it’s bragged about by certain demographics. As Grandad recently commented, “people take photos of their food these days, how weird!” But is it all real? Instagram aside (it’s not exactly confidential that people borrow designer from PR’s and friends at brands for the perfect pic), people there are also stealing other people’s Instagram photos and claiming as their own. Measures put in place won’t always necessarily stop that either.
During a recent Facebook Live video with Pandora Sykes, I asked – “Do people really need to invest in super expensive designer bags when they can’t really afford it?”. For those who don’t know, Pandora is the brains behind most fashion in the insane Sunday Times Style mag. Ok, bias as I worked there. The reply? One should definitely NOT be buying costly designer pieces because guess what – there is some really cool stuff for around the £400 price point. Well that’s refreshing to hear from a superb Fashion Editor but hmm, what about under £100 that will probably be thrown on the floor of the tube carriage next year?
Whilst studying Marketing at University so much was taught about consumer psychology. That weird heart palpitation thing you get when one buys something new. Confidence when you wear a new dress. Even how merchandising is set up in store to create synergy with a shoppers behaviour (do YOU turn left when you go in store?). I’ve worked in fashion media for almost eight years and understand life isn’t about excess and getting yourself into mammoth debt. Anyway, it’ll take you until Christmas to pay off. By then my elephant weight would have broken the heel anyway).
Look in my wardrobe today and you’ll see a combination of designer and high street. Don’t get me wrong, I love designer goodies and dribble at anything DVF or Prada. But will I increase anxiety by spending thousands on something I cannot afford? Probably not. I live within my means. Look closely and you’ll actually see some really cool stuff for less than £50.