Published in 2009, Chanel’s Russian Connection features the first use of KLTF Kerl. The condensed all-caps grotesque was specifically designed for this application. While the book by Karl Lagerfeld is out of print, the font is now publicly available for the first time. Previously referred to under the working title KLTF Titles, Karsten Luecke revisited this “simple, no-nonsense, honest” face and released it on his KLTF label. The final name, Kerl, is the German equivalent of the English guy, sport, or chap. The retail version of KLTF Kerl comes in bold and bold italic styles. There’s no lowercase, but wider alternates for some characters in four widths, Cyrillics, and circled numbers, among other extras.
Peripatetic Chanel head designer, book publisher, photographer – and now, film director – Karl Lagerfeld founded Metiers d’Arts in 2002 to showcase the talents of Chanel’s seven specialist ateliers (that provide the couture house with costume jewelry, embroidery and millinery). This volume focuses on Chanel’s 2008–2009 Metiers d’Arts collection Paris–Moscow. If Paris–Moscow indulges Lagerfeld’s fascination for Russia through fashion, then Russian Connection is that fascination embodied in book form. Lagerfeld’s images evoke Imperial Russia, Constructivism, Catherine the Great, Faberge, Russian folklore and Coco Chanel’s own passion for Russia, via the great Ballets Russes, Byzantine jewelry and her affair with the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich.