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If there's anything more highly anticipated than the actual pieces from Karl Lagerfeld's new KARL line, it's finding out whether the inevitable shitstorm of traffic is going to crash Net-a-Porter's website. Net-a-Porter is pretty confident it won't. A spokesperson told us:
We pride ourselves on meeting tremendous demand on a daily basis. Introducing a brand like KARL is likely to generate unprecedented traffic so we have strengthened the measures we take to protect against lapses in service and have high hopes that we will be able to provide a seamless customer experience for all those wishing to buy from the collection. All of which is very reassuring.
Of course, the tech teams at Target and H&M were probably feeling equally secure before their websites publicly crumbled under the deluge of collab-hungry shoppers, too. But it does seem like Net-a-Porter is working with a different scale, and therefore has a good chance of pulling this off.
Here's the thing: KARL is significantly more niche than the Missoni for Target and Versace for H&M collaborations. For starters, the price points are significantly higher: Most of the 70 pieces in the collection are going for between $300 and $400, bottoming out at $35 for a canvas tote with Karl's spray-painted likeness on it, and going as high as $1350 for a blazer. So while way cheaper than Karl's designs for Chanel, we're not talking Target pricing here.
Also, although Net-a-Porter has been doing it's best to pimp the hell out of the launch— there's a "Karlify" yourself widget thingy on their website (you get to add Karl collars and sunglasses to your own photo), a "Karl's Kult" social marketing campaign, and an elaborate "Karl Kountdown" taking place—their customer base is still significantly smaller than Target's or H&M's.
So even with a global launch planned—the line will drop online across all Net-a-Porter's international sites at exactly 10:30 EST Wednesday morning—there's a reasonable chance that the niche group of fashion fanatics who obsess over all things Lagerfeld is not big enough to effectively take down Net-a-Porter's considerable defenses.
Only time will tell, of course, so while you speculate, enjoy this sneak peek of the collection, including the first two looks, which we styled ourselves at a preview yesterday morning. (Note: If you happen to not have a detachable leather collar in your wardrobe already, Karl would like you to consider it a must-have for spring.)
· More Images from Karl Lagerfeld's Upcoming Karl Collection [Racked]
· All Karl Lagerfeld coverage [Racked]
· Net-a-Porter [Official Site]