Karl Lagerfeld Launches First Sustainable Cactus Leather Bag By Amber Valletta

Once known for fur and leather, luxury label Karl Lagerfeld is embracing sustainability.

Supermodel-turned-sustainable-fashion-designer Amber Valletta has just released a line of vegan accessories under the Karl Lagerfeld label, including a handbag made from cactus leather in a partnership with Mexican firm Desserto.

The sustainability champion says she was inspired to help consumers make better choices. She praised the Lagerfeld brand, once known for excessive use of fur, for its shift to sustainable practices, materials, and design.

“They were great about letting me ask deeper questions about the factories, how they operate, their certifications and things like that,” Valletta said in an interview with WWD. “They were very open, conscientious and took the time to answer difficult questions. That’s really how we’re going to change things: being able to ask difficult questions, pivot once we know we found a better solution, and make better choices.”

Karl Lagerfeld Launches First Sustainable Cactus Leather Bag By Amber Valletta
Amber Valletta for Karl Lagerfeld | courtesy

Karl Lagerfeld’s CEO, Pier Paolo Righi, told WWD that Valletta has been an amplifier internally “to create further excitement and making certain measures more concrete.

“We speak the same language and that has a huge impact. She is so literate and so passionate about sustainability, and was able to talk at eye level throughout our organization.”

Valletta also praised Desserto, first to market with the cactus leather. “They showed me a fabric I’d never seen before,” she said. “That was great to learn something new and hear about this material.”

Valletta says the K/Kushion bag pays homage to Lagerfeld, who passed away in 2019. He was known for traveling with a pillow from his childhood.

“That’s an homage to Karl because that cushion that he carried his whole life was an intimate object of his. And so we chose something that was very classic and iconic to the brand, but also very meaningful to Karl.”

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