Fashion designer extraordinaire Karl Lagerfeld recently announced that he is going into the newspaper business.
The Karl Daily is expected to launch later this month in Europe and Asia, according to Women’s Wear Daily. The publication, which is being touted by some as the soon-to-be-the-largest in the industry, will be available in only a hard-copy format. There will not be a digital version of TKD.
Lagerfeld told the WWD that he likes paper and is not really into social media. He says it is a joke of sorts.“I’m a paper freak,” he told WWD. “I think it’s fun, it’s modern, it’s not pretentious. It’s like a private joke.” That is great. Karl Lagerfeld is a billionaire. He can afford to be coy and cavalier. Whether his newspaper succeeds or fails, it is probably not that important to him.
Will anyone but consummate industry insiders buy it and read it? Will it be a relevant product? Mr. Lagerfeld is going with his own tastes and preferences over the market’s expectations. This could turn out to be a joke that nobody (investors) finds very funny.
When he designs, his attitude and independent streak are what makes for a winning model. However, when the public is accustomed to digital publications that at least complement hard-copy formats of newspapers and magazines, this is risky business.
So, even if an fashion icon publishes a hard-copy newspaper about fashion that is worth reading, will anyone care?