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Disney+ confirms new series based on Karl Lagerfeld

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

7 Sep 2021

Walt Disney Company EMEA has commissioned ‘Kaiser Karl,’ a TV series about the enigmatic and larger-than-life fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, as a Star Original for Disney+.

The six-episode ‘Kaiser Karl’ series from Paris-based ‘Lupin’ producers Gaumont will be filmed in France and based on the biography of the same name by Raphaëlle Bacqué, who is attached to the series alongside writers Isaure Pisani-Ferry (Vampires, Ganglands) and Jennifer Have (Unfaithful).

Kaiser Karl represents the first time a dramatic series has focused on the famed fashion designer and begins in the summer of 1972. It traces Lagerfeld’s quest to become successor of Coco Chanel, who died the year prior, and the most successful French couturier at a time when Yves Saint Laurent was the biggest fashion personality.

The series will highlight the rivalry between Lagerfeld and Pierre Bergé, Yves Saint Laurent’s partner, Lagerfeld’s love story with Jacques de Bascher, and shine a light on the high-end fashion houses of the 70s. It will also showcase how Lagerfeld built his unique and sometimes controversial personal brand in a world where appearances are everything.

Jan Koeppen, president at The Walt Disney Company EMEA, said in a statement: “Disney+ has given us the opportunity to tell uniquely European stories to global audiences. We have an incredibly diverse and exciting European slate, and Kaiser Karl is indicative of the kind of stories we want to be telling.

“We also felt Lagerfeld’s story hasn’t really been given its due until now and can’t wait to share it with our Disney+ audience.”

Pauline Dauvin, vice president of programming and original productions, The Walt Disney Company, France, added: “We were immediately seduced by the idea of an adaptation of Bacqué’s biography, which will mark the first collaboration between Disney and Gaumont on a French original show.

“The series shows a unique moment of transformation in the fashion industry in France in the 70s, embodied by an icon with multiple metamorphoses, Karl Lagerfeld.”

Details regarding casting, including who will play Karl Lagerfeld, is expected to be announced in the coming months.