While the designer has been the subject of documentaries, “Kaiser Karl” marks the first time a dramatic series will be made on him. It will begin during the summer of 1972 and will trace Lagerfeld’s quest to become successor of Coco Chanel. It will also explore the rivalry between Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent’s partner Pierre Berge, as well as his love story with Jacques de Bascher.
The six-part series will be filmed in France and produced by Paris-based Gaumont (“Lupin”). It is based on the biography of the same name by Raphaëlle Bacqué who is attached to the series alongside writers Isaure Pisani-Ferry (“Vampires”) and Jennifer Have (“Unfaithful”).
Jan Koeppen, president of The Walt Disney Company EMEA, unveiled the series at Series Mania Lille Dialogues, as part of a keynote address detailing the company’s engagement with European production companies.
“We have an incredibly diverse and exciting European slate, and ‘Kaiser Karl’ is indicative of the kind of stories we want to be telling,” Koeppen said. “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 Plus audience.”
Pauline Dauvin, VP programming and original productions at The Walt Disney Company, France, said: “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.”
“’Kaiser Karl’ is an icon of the century and since the beginning Disney has been very supportive by sharing our creative vision for the show,” Christophe Riandée, vice CEO Gaumont, added.