Disney+ Planning French Series on Fashion Icon Karl Lagerfeld

Disney+ has greenlit a new series on the life and career of fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld.

The show, plans for which Disney EMEA President Jan Koeppen unveiled at the Series Mania TV festival in Lille on Tuesday, will be shot in France and tell the story of the German designer’s phenomenal rise to the top of the French and global fashion scene.

Lagerfeld, a feature of the fashion world for decades with his signature white hair, black sunglasses, and high, starched collars, was creative director of the French fashion house Chanel from 1983 until his death in 2019. He was also the creative director of the Italian fur and leather goods fashion house Fendi, and had his own, eponymous, fashion label.

The Disney+ series, Kaiser Karl, will start in the 1970s when Lagerfeld was just beginning to break into the French fashion scene.

The series is part of a broader push into European originals by Disney. Koeppen said the company was on target to deliver 60 original European series by 2024. The company has already announced multiple projects from across the continent, including Sam: A Saxon, the true story of the first Black police officer in East Germany, the French teen fantasy drama Parallels, and the Italian mafia series The Good Mothers.

Koeppen emphasized the focus for Disney’s European originals would be on showing the diversity of Europe, pointing to series such as Sultan City, a dark comedy from producers Ayla Gottschlich, Aysel Yilmaz, and Ipek Zübert, set in the German-Turkish community; and Oussekine, a French miniseries about the true events in 1986 that led to the police killing of French-Algerian student Malik Oussekine, a killing that set off mass protests in France.

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