Disney Plus has greenlit Kaiser Karl, a six-episode drama series about the famed fashion designer from Paris-based Lupin producers Gaumont. Jan Koeppen, president of Disney EMEA, announced the show during his Series Mania keynote this morning.
The project is based on the biography of the same name by Raphaëlle Bacqué who is attached to the series alongside writers Isaure Pisani-Ferry (Vampires) and Jennifer Have (Unfaithful).
The story begins in the summer of 1972 and traces Lagerfeld’s quest to become successor of Coco Chanel, who died the year prior, and the most successful French couturier at a time when Yves Saint Laurent was the biggest fashion personality. The rivalry between Lagerfeld and Pierre Bergé (Yves Saint Laurent’s partner) as well as Lagerfeld’s love story with Jacques de Bascher will also be central to the series.
“We are now entering the golden age of European content,” said Koeppen today during his address. “There’s no sign of a slowing down, we’re accelerating our production. Disney+ has given us a unique opportunity to tell uniquely European stories to global audiences.”
“We have an incredibly diverse and exciting European slate, and Kaiser Karl is indicative of the kind of stories we want to be telling. We also felt Lagerfeld’s story hasn’t really been given its due until now and can’t wait to share it with our Disney+ audience,” he added.
Pauline Dauvin, VP Programming & Original Productions, The Walt Disney Company, France, added: “We were immediately seduced by the idea of an adaptation of Bacqué’s biography, which will mark the first collaboration between Disney and Gaumont on a French original show. The series shows a unique moment of transformation in the fashion industry in France in the 70s, embodied by an icon with multiple metamorphoses, Karl Lagerfeld.”
Christophe Riandée, Vice CEO Gaumont said: “Kaiser Karl is an icon of the century and since the beginning Disney has been very supportive by sharing our creative vision for the show. We are thrilled to get started.”