With a name such as Lara Cosima Henckel von Donnersmarck, she has to be somewhat important… right?
In the whirlwind world of fashion, social media, and aristocratic allure, Lara Cosima Henckel von Donnersmarck is a name that’s started echoing with a distinct resonance. Not just because she’s got a title that sounds like it’s straight out of a historical novel, but because she’s taking over a very particular niche no other influencer successfully occupied. Lara Cosima is carving out a space where aristocratic opulence (because there really is no other way to describe her rococo backdrops and floor-length dresses) meets the modern digital age (aka, TikTok).
It doesn’t take much scrolling to discover Lara’s debut Instagram post from April 2022, a time that more or less coincided with her participation in the Bal de Débutantes de Paris—a celebrated event known for introducing young women into the echelons of aristocracy. For Lara Cosima, however, this occasion marked not just a formal introduction to modern-day royalty but also her strategic launch into the realm of social media.
As a Parsons School of Design student by day and a TikTok sensation by night, Lara has since captivated the imaginations of hundreds of thousands. With her stylish edits and “Get Ready With Me” videos, she paints her life against the vibrant and glamorous backdrops of New York and Paris. Equally as glamorous has been Cosima’s venture in the fashion world. Having undertaken two internships at Dior’s Haute Couture division and walking a Paris Fashion Week Show, Lara Cosima’s curriculum isn’t for the faint hearted.
What truly sets Lara apart, however, is the depth of history she carries with her. The Henckel von Donnersmarck family, to which Lara belongs, is a name steeped in European aristocracy, with a lineage that reads like a history book. From loyalties tested during the Silesian Wars to pivotal roles in the 2nd Industrial Revolution, the family’s past navigates through the tumultuous landscapes of European history.
But it is not all rose tinted. Curious to understand Lara Cosima’s wealth, users delved into her family’s history in search of skeletons; and allegedly found some. Among these, a particularly dark chapter concerns the family’s involvement with the forced labor system during World War II. Polish and Jewish prisoners from the Kressendorf (Krzeszowice) subcamp of Auschwitz were compelled to perform forced labor in the Henckel von Donnersmarck lime works, and similar exploitation occurred at the Hindenburg subcamp, where prisoners were used in coke production and arms manufacturing.
Lara responded on TikTok. She explains her family were either too young to partake in the war or were in fact in academia, and attributes her wealth to her father’s work as a successful film director. Since her explanation, it seems the controversy has significantly died down, and Lara’s followers are as loyal as ever.
As she continues to make her mark on both the fashion world and social media, Lara Cosima remains a figure to watch.