NEW YORK — Vintage Lagerfeld lovers are about to have a heyday.
New York vintage mainstay What Goes Around Comes Around is revealing a special exhibit, Helena Christensen-fronted campaign and more to honor the Met Gala 2023 theme, “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty.”
The archivists couldn’t resist honoring the designer’s expansive and impressive vision, per the cofounders Gerard Maione and Seth Weisser, in an interview ahead of the commemoratory launch for Friday.
“WGACA has always been a home of Karl Lagerfeld’s vintage legacy. We always go to the Met exhibits — they are always so inspiring and help elevate the fashion art form to the next level,” said Weisser to WWD. “When we learned about the Met Gala’s theme, it was a natural moment to present our own celebration of the Karl Lagerfeld story through a shopable retrospective.”
“Not many people can see what’s ahead in the way he could,” added Maione. “He was always so open-minded about it.”
WGACA’s Atelier on Wooster Street (just steps away from its West Broadway store) will anchor the time capsule for the designer spanning feminine tweed blazers and suit sets from Lagerfeld’s time helming Chanel, fur coats and ready to wear from his Fendi fame, easy shifts from the Patou years, Chloé tenure and other contributions to fashion history.
About 2,000 pieces will be featured in the shopable retrospective across the vintage dealer’s three stores and e-commerce channels throughout the month of May. At WGACA’s Atelier, the business plans to pay homage to Lagerfeld’s futuristic-yet-timeless eye with a digital tech element featuring in-store videos and holograms. The business is also partnering with Luxury Stores at Amazon to do an exclusive e-commerce drop of 70 hand-picked vintage items starting Friday.
This isn’t the first commemorative exhibit. In the past, WGACA put on a Versace retrospective in its former store in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Chanel has a history of legal battles with resellers, including WGACA.
But, for the first time ever, the vintage dealer will produce an ad campaign spearheaded by model-photographer-designer Helena Christensen.
“We were thrilled to get Helena back. We’ve done things in the past but nothing like a campaign,” stated Weisser. Enthusiasts can anticipate a high-glam, New York photoshoot from Christensen (postered around SoHo), as well as a short film on the legacy of Lagerfeld.
The showcase aligns with WGACA’s 30th anniversary, and Maione said the business is profitable despite the competitive vintage landscape.
As with other vintage maestros, Weisser added that they had “many inquiries” from upcoming Met Gala attendees and expect to see some WGACA pieces on the red carpet.
The assortment includes a Chanel blazer from cruise 2005 at $9,500, a metallic tweed Chanel jacket from fall 2019 at $4,950, twin mint and bubblegum pink cropped blazers from spring 1995, each at $7,500, Chanel mini dress from spring 1997 at $2,950, allover print Chanel pullover from spring 1987 at $5,500, Chanel corset skirt set from spring 1994 at $6,500, Fendi zucca print logomania jacket from the ‘90s at $3,950, and mode Patou dress from the ‘60s at $2,950, among other pieces.
“We went as deep as we could — literally across the world — for the past six months curating this collection, and I think there are going to be some very excited collectors if they can get at it quick enough,” Weisser said.