Junhwan Paul Kang | Save the creative director of the fashion house Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld!
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Save the creative director of the fashion house Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld!

Column | Save Karl Lagerfeld, The creative Director of Chanel

Magazine Tech & Future 2012, Volume 01

Writer: Junhwan Kang


Mr, kang wrote this column on basement of envisioning the future of Shoe design with Piezo electronics technology through Shoes and Fashion show of Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel Creative Director for around 19 years.

Karl Lagerfeld (born Karl Otto Lagerfeld, 10 September 1933) is a German fashion designer, artist, and photographer based in Paris. He is the head designer and creative director of the fashion house Chanel as well as the Italian house Fendi and his own label fashion house.

Piezoelectricity /piˌeɪzoʊˌilɛkˈtrɪsɪti/ is the electric charge that accumulates in certain solid materials (such as crystals, certain ceramics, and biological matters such as bone, DNA and various proteins)  in response to applied mechanical stress. The word piezoelectricity means electricity resulting from pressure.

So, He wrote the scientists can support the evaluation of karl Lagerfeld’s shoe design with the use of Piezoelectricity in this column. and this collaboration make the progress of Fashion industries.

Publisher | Future & Tech

Future & Tech Magazine Founded in 2010 by YongGeun Kim, Former President of KIAT, This Magazine has been designed and published in order to develop a better understanding about the future with the core of operations. Academics, designers, hackers, coders and educators collaborate to the study of technology.


Translation in English


Who on earth is Karl Lagerfeld? Even though Karl Lagerfeld might be unfamiliar to the public, he is a quite famous person in the field of fashion. Karl Lagerfeld, who is known as the most blessed as of in the mid 20th century, has been leading the way in the fashion field all over the world as a creative designer of the big fashion brands. In the early 60s, Chloe gave him a blank check to compensate Karl Lagerfeld for producing gracefully waving ready-to-wear collection overwhelming contemporary couture when he was working for the fashion house ‘Chloe’,

He stopped working for ‘Chloe’ in the year of 1983 and started to work for the couture collection for the fashion house ‘Chanel’ as a ready-to-wear director. Since then Karl Lagerfeld put Chanel boutique to the best in the field of high fashion by harmonizing Chanel’s characteristic classic beauty and trendy fashion exquisitely. Not only does he work in the fashion but also he is a fully vigorous photographer and he was in the news as his photo exhibition was held in Korea this year.

The carbonated drinks design by him is called Karl Lagerfeld diet coke. Its design catches people’s eyes enough with its unique design that is not considered as a normal coke bottle.

Why should we save Karl Lagerfeld who is on a roll? Let’s go back to 2008 for this. The year of 2008 was the time when shoes and sneakers combining with technology were presented all over the world. Lowebe and Chanel presented shoes with light bulb material. The shoes from Chanel were sold even for 2200 dollars. Shoes with the use of technology, so-called shoes for the purpose of growing height using piezoelectric element, were introduced to the public in Korea, as well. However, both of Karl Lagerfeld’s shoes and the shoes for the purpose of growing height using piezoelectric element in Korea are vulnerable in their designs. Whereas Korean shoes made for growing height were focusing on the technology neglecting their designs, the heels of Karl Lagerfeld’s shoes couldn’t help but become rough. It is because the batteries should be on the heels with the inspiration of the lights using technology from the Chanel’s pre-fall collection in 2008. His design made a progress by making models’ heels bling-bling with LED at the Finale of 2012 Chanel Couture show. However, the downside of his shoes is the crude design of the front part. If only we had informed him of LED lights applied to the shoes through the piezoelectric element, the design of the shoes could have been positively changed.



What is the piezoelectric effect?

electric polarization happens on the surface of the crystals when a pressure is applied to a solid and this phenomenon is called piezo resistance effect as well. It is called as the piezoelectric direct effect when an electric charge is generated due to a certain amount of pressure applied to the crystals of Rochelle salt or Chrystal, whereas the reverse of the piezoelectric effect happens because of crystal deformation with given electric charge. Named after the discoverers, the direct effect is also called Curie effect and the reverse of the piezoelectric effect is called Lippmann effect, as well. Transverse effect refers to the same direction of the generated electrons and the applied pressure to the crystals in contrast; longitudinal effect indicates when the directions of the two form a right angle. In addition,   the piezoelectric element is the term of the eco-friendly generator producing electricity just by the body movement, the flow of blood or subtle vibrations.



In effect, according to ‘Nano letters’ online version published this March, Korean researchers have developed piezo energy generating element (piezoelectric element), which is 36 times more energy effective than the current piezoelectric element. The piezoelectric element is a switching device from pressure to electricity. Piezoelectric element, installed on the sole of a shoe or under the road, is eco-friendly technology because the electricity can be obtained from the pressure generated whenever people walk with the shoe or cars pass on the road. In addition, the energy conversion efficiency of the new piezoelectric element made by Korean researchers is 18%. This means when it receives 100 units of pressure, it generates 18 units. Compared to the existing conversion efficiency rate, which is 0.5%, the new piezoelectric element with specific macromolecular substance has increased the energy efficiency rate substantially. Moreover, the electricity, generated by bending the index finger-size piezoelectric element, succeeded in lighting the green, blue and red LED.



If Karl Lagerfeld’s unique imaginations had been combined with Korean piezoelectric element technology, sleek shiny kill heels would have been introduced in 2012 to the fashionable women over the world. Furthermore, new shoe design other than light bulb heel in 2008 might have appeared.

With a trend of increase in the patent application of piezoelectric development technology since 2008, small businesses, relatively lacking in the money for the cost of technology promotion and of global launch, worth trying to give it a shot considering that small businesses take up 52% of the total number of the patent application on the part of application technology overtaking major companies.

This talk is plausible enough even though the writer imagines based on the facts and current technologies. I hope that there would be more various attempts and higher value-added products through fusion industries. If we Koreans, especially not only small businesses but also technicians, have flexible thinking and open to the different possibilities, some day we will have various opportunities within global businesses.



There is a tip that you should better know if you intend to have collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld. Korean textile director of the fashion house Chanel, Young-sung, Kim who has worked with Karl Lagerfeld for 13 years visits Korea every year. Good Luck!!!


Tech & Future


March 8, 2012