TV & Movies

Karl Lagerfeld’s Road To Chanel Is Being Turned Into A Disney+ Series

The legendary creative director will be portrayed by Daniel Brühl.

Karl Lagerfeld walks the runway during the Chanel show on March 5, 2013
Photo by Kristy Sparow/FilmMagic/Getty Images

There’s something in the air when it comes to fashion biopics. As well as plans for Jared Leto to play Karl Lagerfeld in an upcoming film about the late designer’s life and influence, Disney+ are also planning to explore his rise to fame in Kaiser Karl, their own TV mini-series about his breakthrough era in 1970s Paris. Now known for his distinctive dark sunglasses, white hair and severe starched shirt collars, Lagerfeld went on to become Chanel’s creative director in 1983 – a position he held until his death in 2019. Here’s everything we know so far about the upcoming fashion flick Kaiser Karl.

Kaiser Karl Plot

Though Lagerfeld is often remembered for his work at Chanel from the ‘80s onwards, Kaiser Karl focuses on his journey to the top instead. Over six parts, the mini-series will explore the rise of fashion designer in 1970s Paris, as well as his entanglements and rivalries, and the hedonism of the era. By then, the German creative had been living in the French capital for some time, and was already making waves in the fashion industry with his innovative work at Jean Patou and Fendi. His breakthrough moment, however, came when he began working with Chloé, and alongside his rival Yves Saint Laurent he came to be regarded as one of the most influential designers of the era.

Kaiser Karl Cast

German actor Daniel Brühl – who first broke through in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds before going on to star in Captain America: Civil War, The King's Man, and 2022’s Oscar-nominated All Quiet on the Western Front – will head up the cast, playing Chanel’s late creative director Lagerfeld. Arnaud Valois (120 BPM (Beats per Minute)) will play the designer’s rival and peer Yves Saint Laurent, while French actor Alex Lutz (Guy) portrays Laurent’s partner and co-founder Pierre Bergé. Canadian actor Théodore Pellerin (Boy Erased) also features as Jacques de Bascher, Lagerfeld’s partner of 18 years, who was also romantically linked to Yves Saint Laurent, and accused of trying to sabotage the rival fashion house by Bergé. Agnès Jaoui (The Taste of Others) appears as Chloé founder Gaby Aghion.

It will also feature a selection of iconic creatives from the period, including Andy Warhol (played by Paul Spera), Marlene Dietrich (Triangle of Sadness’ Sunnyi Melles) and Paloma Picasso (Jeanne Damas). According to Disney+ the film will also have 2,200 extras, with filming taking place across 40 different sets.

Kaiser Karl Trailer & Release Date

Though there’s no exact release date for the fashion thriller, the six-part mini series is currently filming in France, Monaco, and Italy. It’s currently expected to land on Disney+ later in 2023, so we can expect a trailer nearer to the release date.