Karl Lagerfeld’s Photograph Collection Enters Blockchain

Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld wasn’t just a storied designer. He was a master photographer, too, and his entire collection of star-studded images is being uploaded to the blockchain with a bright, digital future.

Former Chanel artistic director Eric Pfrunder lived with Lagerfeld for decades and inherited his complete photograph collection following the creative director’s death in 2019. Now, Vogue reports that Pfrunder has decided to register the catalog on the Lukso blockchain.

As a platform, Lukso caters specifically to the lifestyle industry, working to give a trust-worthy decentralized infrastructure to fashion brands, start-ups and other customers in the space. Pfrunder is listed as a member of Lukso’s advisory board, alongside Nike’s Vice President of Digital, Chanel’s President of Europe and other notable industry leaders.

“I continue to embrace the present and invent the future,” Pfrudner told Vogue. “Technology evolves and we need to take advantage of it, as the next generations live in a ‘phygital space’ … I’m not an expert on blockchain, but I learn about it every day. There’s a big opportunity in this field, especially now that the COVID-19 pandemic has digitised people’s lifestyles and is forcing us to enter into a new mindset.”

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Pfrunder plans to release the photos in his own time via the usual means, such as public exhibits and photography books. He tells Vogue fans can expect both physical and digital copies to be sold in limited editions as well as merchandised.

Of course, now that the collection is being digitized, one might wonder if some of the images would ever be minted as a series of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. The latest digital craze sweeping culture from all sides allows for the authentication of digital assets.

While the NFT market is very hit or miss, the tech has allowed digital artists, musicians and pretty much anyone with an idea to make thousands and sometimes millions of dollars on their non-physical works, and Pfrunder is not closed off to the opportunity.

Lagerfeld worked as creative director for Chanel for 36 years as well as Fendi for 54. He was iconic in his own right, instantly-recognizable with his white hair, black suit and matching sunglasses. His photographs were featured in Chanel ad campaigns, starring some of the brightest stars of his day. No doubt the more than 120,000 images in Pfrunder’s collection could fetch a pretty penny, bitcoin or otherwise for years to come.

Learn more about Pfrunder’s plans for the digitized collection via Vogue.

Photography by: Hunter Abrams/BFA