Karl Lagerfeld, sometimes known as the “Emperor of Fashion,” was a German creative director, fashion designer, artist, and photographer. He served in various fashion houses and designer labels worldwide, including Fendi, H&M, Diesel, and Chloe. He was a well-known fashion designer who embodied both fashion and the art of design. Lagerfeld dubbed the “unparalleled interpreter of the spirit of the moment” by Vogue Magazine, was a tremendously accomplished and skilled designer whose creations were constantly creative.
In 1955, Lagerfeld entered a coat design competition sponsored by the International Wool Secretariat. The competition resulted in Pierre Balmain hiring him, and his career began. After studying art history in Rome, he worked for Tiziani and later for brands such as Charles Jourdan, Chloé, Krizia, and Valentino.
He presented his first collection at a two-hour exhibition in July 1958. This collection was released under the name ‘Roland Karl.’ However, the collection was not well received. Two years later, Lagerfeld released a collection of unique little hats made from satin. His first piece of work garnered positive reviews and praise. In 1970, after Guy Douvier replaced him at Tiziani’, he collaborated with the Roman haute couture house, Curiel.’ In that year, he designed the first ‘Curiel’ collection
During the 1980s, Lagerfeld was hired by Chanel, which was considered a “near-dead brand” since Coco Chanel had died a decade earlier. By overhauling the company’s ready-to-wear fashion line, Lagerfeld made it a huge success. His next step was to launch his fashion label, something he had aspired to ever since getting into the fashion circuit. In 1994, he introduced a controversial collection of dresses embellished with Koranic phrases. The uproar was so overwhelming that model Claudia Schiffer was given bodyguards as protection from fundamentalists. In addition to Diesel and H&M, Lagerfeld worked with several other notable fashion brands.
In 2006, he introduced new denim wear and fitted T-shirts for both men and women. ‘K Karl Lagerfeld’ was the name of this exquisite collection. Additionally, he designed a collection of holiday cosmetics for ShuUemura, a Japanese makeup artist, and launched a collection of Suzanne Belperron’s pins and brooches.
In addition to being a talented fashion designer, he is also an accomplished photographer. After he photographed American singer and actress ‘Mariah Carey’ for the “V” magazine cover. According to reports, he has also photographed advertising campaigns for Chanel and Fendi.
Karl Lagerfeld was in a platonic relationship with Jacques de Bascher, a French aristocrat, model, and socialite, for 18 years. In Paris, he lived with Choupette, his Birman cat. He once stated that if it were legal, he would marry his cat.
Lagerfeld was an avid book collector who collected one of the world’s most excellent personal libraries. He possessed a personal library of 300,000 books. He also owned properties in Brittany, Monte Carlo, Hamburg, and Manhattan and multiple mansions in Paris. Different themes were used to embellish each of these.
Karl Lagerfeld’s death
In January 2019, Lagerfeld was admitted to the American Hospital of Paris due to health complications. He died from complications related to pancreatic cancer on February 18, 2019. His wish not to have a formal funeral and for his ashes to be scattered in secret. Although many believe Lagerfeld died of pancreatic cancer, his old bodyguard confirmed prostate cancer in June 2015.
“Karl For Ever,” a celebration of the designer’s life, was held at the Grand Palais on June 20, 2019. He was an innovator and could transform himself to fit the needs and requirements of the label he worked for.
Below are some amazing photos of the legendary fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld when he was young.