In June 2020, the Maison Karl Lagerfeld announced Kenneth Ize as its first Black designer collaborator, and after pandemic-related delays, the collection is now available for purchase.
“It was very important for me to express where I’m from because it was like introducing myself to [Karl],” says Ize of the lineup. “Every single outfit was based on African imagery.” But it was a growth experience for the 30-year-old Austrian-Nigerian, too. “I’m coming from a space where I’m not as structured because I’m not as big, you know, so learning how to be structured from such a brand was very important.”
The luxury house’s style adviser, Carine Roitfeld, worked with Ize, a finalist of the 2019 LVMH Prize, to create an exclusive well-balanced spring/summer 2021 capsule collection culminating in the best of both brands.
The collection marries the brand’s sleek European style with Nigerian-inspired prints made using traditional techniques as a homage to Ize’s West African roots.
Filled with genderless tailoring, colourful handbags, and an assortment of beaded jewellery, the lineup also includes a pair of intricately woven platform sandals. The overall result is a sublime celebration of culture fused with elevated design.
*images courtesy Maison Karl Lagerfeld