Saturday, April 13, 2024

The Iconic Ponytail of Karl Lagerfeld: The Story Behind its Evolution

  • Karl Lagerfeld’s iconic low ponytail became an integral part of his persona and a marketing tool for his fragrances.
  • The ponytail was initially a practical solution for his curls but became a signature part of his look.
  • Lagerfeld’s modern take on the 18th-century queue hairstyle is a testament to his unique sense of style.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2023 Costume Institute exhibition and gala are dedicated to Karl Lagerfeld, one of the most iconic figures in fashion history. Lagerfeld, who passed away in 2019, was renowned for his impeccable sense of style, which he showcased in his designs and in his personal appearance.

One of the most notable aspects of Lagerfeld’s look was his iconic low ponytail, which became an integral part of his persona and even a marketing tool for his fragrances.

The ponytail was initially a practical solution for Lagerfeld’s soft, face-framing curls, as described by Caroline Lebar, his longtime colleague, and SVP of image and communications at Karl Lagerfeld. However, it quickly became a signature part of his look.


Also Read: Remembering Karl Lagerfeld: Tributes from Fashion’s Inner Circle


In the 1980s, when Lagerfeld considered changing his hairstyle, a member of Elizabeth Arden’s communications team advised against it, warning that it could hurt future fragrance campaigns. Lagerfeld was reportedly amused by the suggestion, realizing the ponytail’s significance in his image.

Interestingly, Lagerfeld’s low-slung tieback has historical roots. The Hair Historian, Rachael Gibson, notes that it resembles the 18th-century queue, a mid-length ponytail that most men wore, including in the military, where it remained mandatory until the 19th century. Lagerfeld’s ponytail, in contrast, was a modern take on this classic style.


Karl Lagerfeld Ponytail FAQs

How did Karl Lagerfeld’s ponytail become an integral part of his persona?

The ponytail began as a low-maintenance means of taming Karl Lagerfeld’s soft, face-framing curls but evolved into something of a marketing tool and an integral part of his outward persona.

Who suggested to Karl Lagerfeld that he should keep his ponytail for future campaigns?

A member of Elizabeth Arden’s communications team suggested to Karl Lagerfeld that ditching the ponytail could be detrimental to future campaigns.

What historical hairstyle is Karl Lagerfeld’s iconic ponytail compared to?

Karl Lagerfeld’s iconic ponytail is compared to the 18th-century queue, a mid-length ponytail worn by most men, including in the military, where it remained mandatory until the 19th century.


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