Karl Lagerfeld Turns Furniture Photographer For Cassina

“What I enjoy the most is doing something I’ve never done before.” —Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld has been known to dip his toes in waters beyond fashion before; this time, he partners with famed furniture manufacturer Cassina in the role of the portraitist.

Lagerfeld photographed, in both color and black and white, over 30 hand-picked iconic pieces from the brand’s collection, among which are classic designs by Le Corbusier, Albini, Gio Ponti and more. The fascinating exhibition An Authentic Eye, is now on view at Cassina’s Parisian showroom through March 31st, followed by New York in the Fall.

The art direction mirrors his very personal, very experimental approach to design: for the Superleggera by Gio Ponti, for instance, he created a kaleidoscope-inspired composition by arranging the superlight, very thin chair one above the other in delicate balance over a reflective ground.

It is in fact not Lagerfeld’s first stint in the world of design — he recently signed a line of crystal products with Swedish glassmakers Orrefors, characterized by a perfectly chiseled graphic identity in his signature black and white. Interior design also has always played a fundamental part in the designer’s creative path; from collaborations with friend Andrée Putman on his Roman apartment to a Memphis-filled Montecarlo penthouse in the 80s, his many homes have always gone hand-in-hand with the designer’s perpetually evolving, multifaceted personality.

According to Cassina’s brand director, the collaboration originated spontaneously, spurred by Lagerfeld’s interest in the brand already as a devoted client, and this portraits series is just the beginning of a very promising and fruitful relationship — on which the lid stays for now tightly closed. —Gemma Riberti

All images courtesy of Cassina / Orrefors

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