I am not sure of Karl Lagerfeld’s intentions when he agreed to lend his signature and unmistakable silhouette to an aluminium bottle of Coke Light, but at his age–a rather ripe 70 plus, Mr Lagerfeld has contributed to popular culture more frequently than pop-pros far younger than him. He has appeared on bags, as a figurine, a toy, a teddy bear, not to mention the parodies on assorted media, endorsed or otherwise.
Designers and beverages are not new pairings, of course. Perrier has collaborated with Agnes B, Jean Paul Gaultier, and recently, Paul Smith. How a designer’s signature or image can drive sales is not immediately clear, but it gives bottles of otherwise regular drinks some designer cache even when none of them have anything to do with the content. Coke Light is supposedly a “ladies’ drink” (perhaps evidenced by the pink bottle cap). If so, would any woman want to be holding a silhouetted image of a fully-clothed senior? How would this bottle look in a 7-Eleven refrigerator somewhere in Klong Toey?