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Join Ingie Chalhoub and Diala Makki in Paying Tribute to Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld ©Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld. Photo: Courtesy of Karl Lagerfeld x Farfetch

The fashion industry is paying homage to the highly respected and loved Karl Lagerfeld as Kate Moss, Tommy Hilfiger, Diane Kruger, Takashi Murakami, Carine Roitfeld, and Sébastien Jondeau launch ‘The White Shirt Project’ with Farfetch.

The sartorial project aims to celebrate the couturier’s legacy via one of his signature accouterments — a white shirt. Lagerfeld’s friends and family united to reinvent his most beloved piece of clothing and each design will be replicated 77 times and sold for AED3125 on September 26 at All proceeds from the White Shirt Project will be going to the charity Sauver la Vie, which funds medical research at the Paris Descartes University.

Ingie Chalhoub at Karl Lagerfeld Exhibition Paris

Ingie Chalhoub attends the “Tribute to the Karl Lagerfeld: The White Shirt Project” exhibition as part of Paris Fashion Week in Paris on September 25, 2019. Photo: Julien M. Hekimian/Getty Images

Diala Makki at Karl Lagerfeld Exhibition Paris

Pier Paolo Righi and Diala Makki attend the “Tribute to the Karl Lagerfeld: The White Shirt Project” exhibition as part of Paris Fashion Week in Paris on September 25, 2019. Photo: Julien M. Hekimian/Getty Images

All the reinterpretations of the white shirt were displayed last night, at a private exhibition during Paris Fashion Week. Some of the stars participating in this special tribute were Kaia Gerber, Gigi Hadid, Soo Joo Park, Holli Rogers, Lewis Hamilton, Alessandro Michele, Jean-Baptiste Mondino, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Steven Wilson. The exhibition was also visited by Anna Wintour, Karlie Kloss, Amber Valletta, Suzy Menkes, Ingie Chalhoub, Diala Makki, Holli Rogers, and the project’s curator Carine Roitfeld. The exhibition will now travel to Karl Lagerfeld stores around the world and fans and buyers can share the experience and witness limited-edition shirts designed by the global community of the designer’s friends and family.

“Karl always said that with everything you do, you need to surprise people,” says Carine Roitfeld, Style Advisor of Karl Lagerfeld and curator of the global tribute project. “This is a wonderful, creative way for us to honor his legacy. The overall reaction has been quite fun, and Karl would have loved that.”

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The team at Farfetch was delighted to welcome this project. “We are honored to partner exclusively with the Maison Karl Lagerfeld for what is such an amazing tribute,” said Holli Rogers, Chief Brand Officer of Farfetch. “The huge level of support that has been pledged by some of the world’s most exciting tastemakers is a testament to Karl’s legacy and the impact he made globally. We are excited to allow Farfetch customers to own these limited-edition pieces, that will forever be a wonderful tribute to Karl, while simultaneously giving back to the ‘Sauver la Vie’ charity, a worthy cause so close to Karl’s heart.”

The charity, Sauver la Vie, isn’t a random selection. For years, Lagerfeld supported Sauver La Vie by personally drawing logos and clicking photographs of the Paris Descartes University’s medical staff for a limited-edition book.

The tribute perfectly reflects the fashion icon’s passion for white shirts. We caught up with Diala Makki, Holli Rogers, and Ingie Chalhoub to know more about the evolution and thought process behind the collection.

First up, TV host, and journalist Diala Makki. 

Diala Makki, Karl Lagerfeld

Diala Makki. Photo: Courtesy of Karl Lagerfeld x Farfetch

What is your favorite memory of Karl Lagerfeld?

One favorite memory of Karl Lagerfeld? I would say memories!

I had the chance to interview him on more than one occasion and in different cities, knowing he doesn’t approve that many journalists per season. As an Arab journalist, the international scene might not realize how difficult it might be for a young Arab journalist to ask over and over again to be on the list of interviews. One morning in February 2013, I dressed up (overdressed actually), put my high heels on and made my way backstage. I asked where the famous white room was (where Karl Lagerfeld receives his friends and journalists after the show). There were two or three international publications that were approved. I surely wasn’t this time. I stood there for three hours after the backstage cleared. I wasn’t going anywhere without at least trying even if that would have pissed off the PR team! He opened the door for the last time, and he asked me to come in. I also got in my videographer too and filmed the interview that went on for 15 minutes. That was my first memory. My last one was his last show in Paris when I hugged him after the show. He looked tired, and I felt somehow that this could be the last time I would see him. I wish I had said something!

How do you describe the artistic concept of your shirt? Did you have any specific inspirations? 

The white shirt had always been a signature to the late icon’s personal garment. According to Karl Lagerfeld, the white shirt was one basic he would have wished to invent. To have the honor to personalize his beloved shirt as a tribute along with his close friends was both an honor and a challenge. However, fate had always played a role from the very first moment I crossed paths with the designer, and once again, it played a significant role in the inspiration of this specific shirt. Years ago, while I was the only Arab journalist to have the privilege to follow his creative process from Paris all the way to Dubai, getting to know him up-close, sitting next to him during the fitting process, making my way into the very first documentary that launched my career, a jewel fell right in front of me, by accident, later during the show. As anyone would, I picked it up and gave it to one of his bodyguards. Right before I left he called me, he gave it back to me and said keep it as a memory from me. I’ve kept it in my safe ever since. When I was asked to participate in this project, I felt it was time for the “memoir precious piece” to see the light. Hence his hand is embroidered on the famous high collar of the shirt.

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In your opinion, what is Karl Lagerfeld’s greatest legacy? 

The legacy of a creative genius such as Karl Lagerfeld is not summed up in one only. His legacy was the impact he left on people’s lives. His legacy was also reviving Chanel. His legacy was this creative flow and mystery that surrounded him and his impact on popular culture. Lagerfeld treated the runway as a theatre where many eras in the fashion industry are represented. His legacy was that he remained relevant until the day he passed away.

Next, Chief Brand Officer of Farfetch Holli Rogers. 

What is your favorite memory of Karl Lagerfeld?

He always had so many brilliantly funny things to say and often spoke his mind — but something that captured him so well was when he interviewed himself. I could watch it again and again! It was also so special to see him on the decks of the La Pausa after his Cruise ’19 show, partying with the rest of the crowd on that fabulous vessel in the middle of the Grand Palais. A truly spectacular moment for us all!

How do you describe the artistic concept of your shirt? Did you have any specific inspirations?

When I was asked to be involved with the project, I was reading a book entitled “The Price of Illusion” by Joan Buck, which made reference to Karl and his appearance in the Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey film L’Amour. It made me think about Karl’s impact not only on fashion but on film, the arts, and culture. I really wanted to represent this alongside something very personal to me, which is a sketch that Karl did of me, as we worked very closely on relaunching his Karl Lagerfeld brand.

Did you use any special techniques or materials to realize the design?

To do the sketch justice, we worked closely with the KARL LAGERFELD team in London to recreate this as a printed piece, taking elements of his handwriting and layering this across the back of the shirt.

Lastly, President and Managing Director of The Etoile Group and Creative Director of Ingie Paris Ingie Chalhoub.

INGIE CHALHOUB, Karl Lagerfeld x Farfetch

Ingie Chalhoub. Photo: Courtesy of Karl Lagerfeld x Farfetch

What is your favorite memory of Karl Lagerfeld? 

My favorite memory of Karl is also one of the last times I saw him when he appeared after Chanel’s Metiers d’Art show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in December 2018. This was the last time he made an appearance after showing his collection at Chanel, and I was wonderfully impressed with the standing ovation and the rapturous applause he received from everyone at the show. It was so emotional at the time and even more so now, as I did not know or expect that it would be the last time I would see him.

How do you describe the artistic concept of your shirt? Did you have any specific inspirations? 

Karl Lagerfeld always projected a chic elegance through his designs, which completely reflected his inner identity. My own effort with the incarnation of the shirt was to replicate the same ethos, keeping it simple and chic. I didn’t want to overcomplicate things; this wouldn’t be him. Karl Lagerfeld redefined modern fashion with his boundless creativity, intellect, and impeccable eye for detail. Hence, the concept of the shirt in a way is to reflect this modernity of fashion in our contemporary times. I aimed to infuse my own creative influences into the design combining glamorous, sophisticated couture.

In your opinion, what is Karl Lagerfeld’s greatest legacy? 

Karl’s most prominent legacy, in my opinion, is the work on modernity and all that he has achieved through his dedication. He was the highest achiever in showing us that even “fashion can go out of fashion” and that one should always strive to live his life in his own time and own moment. He has shown the world that it was his hard work and independent culture that helped him to enter the DNA of many different brands at different times and give them a new life. His involvement has created success stories and taught us many lessons, and these are the lessons that I hope to display through designing this shirt.

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