First seen last February, swinging down the runway on Cara Delevingne's Bug Bag at the Fall Fendi show in Milan, the bag boy Karlito bag charm is adding more than a pompom to Fendi's Wallet.
The Karlito is a limited-edition fur pompom in the likeness of Karl Lagerfeld. The significance? Lagerfield has designed fur and ready-to-wear collections for Fendi since 1965 so why not? In an abstract bust form of the designer and in true Largerfield style the pompom features black sunglasses, only this time made of minx. The bobble sunglasses head rests on a silver fox body and a tuft front of goat fur, with a signature stiff white colour and black tie.
So why is a party for the furry key chain being held tonight (Tuesday 8th July) at Fendi's Avenue Montaigne boutique in Paris? Well, after its Milan debut the key chain has gained a following of 600 elite fashionistas, those that are on the wait list for the Karlito since last month. At 1,240 euros a pop these 600 limited edition tag-a-longs will bring a revenue of 744,000 euros, that's around NZ $1.150 million. Considering this key chain is made from off-cut material the profit from this chain will be impressive to say the least.
Luxury brands, such as Fendi, are known for designing smaller articles of fashion, such as scarfs and wallets, to make their products accessible and slightly more affordable to boost sales from a wider range of consumers. But Fendi's new little Karl design seems to take this concept to the next level. By creating something quirky and special like this limited edition key chain they have sent some consumers into a Fendi Frenzy. The key to the Karlito's success is creating a hype that is bigger than the big clip on Karlito. Having it in the hot hands of It model Cara Delevingne well before it could be purchased by the public set the feel for this furry friend - that is, this bag boy is for big bag fans only and what celebrity, it girl or fashionista doesn't want to signal that?
For other fashion brands that wouldn't ask for almost NZ $2,000 from their customers for a key chain, this Fendi charm is still an interesting concept. If you sell something small with a high perceived value there is no telling how it may catch-on. It pays to diversify into new product lines if the new product captures the imagination of your customers.