Karl Lagerfeld’s Former Paris Apartment Is Headed to Auction

For the last 13 years of his life, German-born fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld lived in a striking apartment above on the Left Bank of Paris. The extraordinarily prolific former creative director for Chanel and Fendi, who also operated his own eponymous label, died in 2019 at the age of 85 and now, his home-slash-artist studio is set to go under the hammer later this month.

“This auction represents a rare opportunity to acquire a part of the history of fashion and of French cultural heritage,” Paris Notaires Services, which is handling the sale, said in a press statement. The roughly 2,800-square-foot residence is nestled on the third floor of a historic, centuries-old building in the heart of Paris’s Saint-Thomas d’Aquin district. The six-story structure at 17 Quai Voltaire was originally constructed in 1684 and overlooks the Seine, the Tuileries Garden, and the Louvre Museum.

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karl lagerfeld paris apartment auction
The late Karl Lagerfeld’s apartment in Paris is headed to auction.

The late, great designer is believed to have lived at the residence from 2006 up until his passing, WWD reported. Naturally, he put the place through an extensive, two-and-a-half-year-long renovation. Altogether, the avant-garde pad feels modern, minimalist, and a little futuristic (not to mention a bit antiseptic). The home sports lots of clean lines, concrete and resin flooring, and sandblasted glass panels. “I wanted an apartment with glass and transparency everywhere, lit to death, because I live in over-lit conditions,” Lagerfeld told Architectural Digest France back in 2012.

The unusually configured residence has just five rooms, and that’s counting the bathroom. The vast living space has three floor-to-ceiling windows and, because Lagerfeld was a voracious collector of books (he had around 300,000), two long walls are lined with custom bookshelves separated by frosted glass panels. A row of frosted glass panels pivot open to the apartment’s only bedroom, which leads to the compartmentalized bathroom that includes a large soaking tub and a cosmetics fridge.

Beyond the bathroom is, unsurprisingly, a huge dressing room with floor-to-ceiling mirrored walls and built-in cabinetry. The eat-in kitchen, on the other hand is a surprisingly simple, all-stainless-steel affair that opens off the dressing room. For privacy, a narrow corridor that runs the length of the apartment allows staff and guests to pass from the living room to the dressing room and kitchen without having to go through the bedroom and bath. “It’s a place to sleep, take a bath and work,” Lagerfeld told A.D.

karl lagerfeld paris apartment auction
The minimalist apartment sports concrete floors and frosted glass walls.

Based on the photos, you’ll notice that there aren’t any furnishings. Most of the vaunted and enigmatic couturier’s personal belongings, including custom armchairs and artwork, were sold through a series of live and online sales hosted by Sotheby’s, which took place between 2021 and 2022. Most notably, a set of five pairs of Chanel fingerless leather gloves fetched €48,260 ($54,680). At the same time, a Chanel crocodile tote bag went for a record-setting €94,500 (about $107,000) while Szekely’s “Mirror Soleil Noir” sold for €375,500 (or ($423,620).

Listed with a guide price of €5.3 million (or roughly $5.8 million), the designer’s home will hit the auction block on March 26, 2024, and the bidding is scheduled to take place at the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Lagerfeld owned many homes over the years, including an apartment in New York’s Gramercy Park and a villa in France. At the time of his death, his holdings included a second apartment in Paris, just around the corner from Quai Voltaire apartment, a 19th-century country house outside of Paris, in Louvenciennes, and a 19th-floor apartment in Monaco.

Click here to see all the photos of Karl Lagerfeld’s Paris apartment.  

karl lagerfeld paris apartment auction
karl lagerfeld paris apartment auction

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