On last Tuesday (02/19) the Legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld, one of the most celebrated designers of the 20th and 21st centuries, has died in Paris at age 85.
Known by his strong personality and signature style, wearing dark suits and leather gloves with a signature white pony-tail and tinted sunglasses. Lagerfeld was creative director of his own fashion house, Channel and Fendi. And was with Channel that he got recognized as a fashion icon.
Lagerfeld quickly reproduced Coco Channel’s spirit, reinterpreting the iconic tweed skirt suits, little black dresses, and quilted handbags. The German fashion designer and longtime artistic director of Channel headed the brand for 36 years.
In 1954, at the beginning of his journey as a young fashion designer, Lagerfeld emigrated to Paris when he won first prize for a sketch of a coat which was then made by Pierre Balmain. The designer, impressed, offered him a job as his assistant.
In 1963, he began freelancing for Gaby Aghion at Chloé, which is widely considered to be France’s first ready-to-wear label and took a full-time spot there in 1974.
In 1983, Alain Wertheimer, the co-owner of Chanel, asked Lagerfeld to breathe new life into the iconic French house.
In the 1990s, he began developing a second career as a commercial photographer, which enabled him to shoot his own advertising campaigns and portfolios for various international magazines.
In 2004, Lagerfeld collaborated with high street brand H&M - before high-end collaborations became more common. Labels from Comme des Garçons and Maison Margiela had collections with his signature.
In 2016 Chanel staged its show in the Cuban capital Havana - the first international fashion show since the 1959 communist revolution.
In 2015, the British Fashion Council recognized him with its Outstanding Achievement Award. He received France’s highest honor, commander of the Légion d’Honneur, from then-President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2010. And in 2005, Chanel was the subject of a Costume Institute exhibition that juxtaposed period pieces with Lagerfeld’s creations.
The legacy and creativity left by Karl Lagerfeld is timeless and will be always inspiring, without ever forgetting what he stood for, independence, freedom, and modernity.
"I am very much down to Earth. Just not this earth"