Karl Lagerfeld, Iconic Fashion Designer, Has Died

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Karl Lagerfeld, House of Chanel and Fendi Creative Director and iconic Fashion Designer who influenced generations with his creations, has passed away one month after his final collection debuted at Paris Fashion Week. He was 85.

The news of Lagerfeld's death quickly spread throughout the world of fashion with many who knew the creative genius and others who only admired from afar posting tributes, sharing memories, and remembrances of memorable moments and encounters.

Anna Wintour, the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue issued a heartfelt tribute to her friend. "Today the world lost a giant among men. Karl was so much more than our greatest and most prolific designer – his creative genius was breathtaking and to be his friend was an exceptional gift. Karl was brilliant, he was wicked, he was funny, he was generous beyond measure and he was deeply kind, I will miss him so very much."

Paris Fashion Week - Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld Fall Winter 2018/19

Lagerfeld, who was immediately recognized by his distinctive white ponytail, dark sunglasses and his usual black suit and white starched shirt, is often credited with launching the super model era of the 1980's and many posted personal feelings of gratitude, loss, including Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Claudia Schiffer and former model and actress Diane Kruger.

Fellow designers from Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani to Donatella Versace and Gaia Repossi all spoke fondly of his larger than life personality intertwining with iconic brands that carried themselves on the allure. His generosity, kindness, friendship and of course his love of fashion and prolific creative genius.

Paris Fashion Week Rani Zakhem Couture Spring Summer 2018 - Gorgeous, Vibrant, Exquisite

Chanel, the equally iconic brand whose name alone evokes a certain style, an expectation of elegance, issued a statement on Lagerfeld's passing "Thanks to his creative genius, generosity and exceptional intuition, Karl Lagerfeld was ahead of his time, which widely contributed to the House of Chanel's success throughout the world. Today, not only have I lost a friend, but we have all lost an extraordinary creative mind to whom I gave carte blanche in the early 1980's to reinvent the brand," Alan Wertheimer, CEO of Chanel said in an official press release.

"What I've done, Coco Chanel would have never done, She would have hated it," the German born Lagerfeld was quoted as saying. What he did for Chanel, taking over the brand 12 years after the founder passed away, was create the most successful brand in the world. Not only designing of which he is also quoted as saying "To design is to breathe" but also in every detail, every element of the brand.

Paris Fashion Week: Ziad Nakad, Spring/Summer 2019 Collection – Dazzling, Sexy, Ultra Glamourous

His love for fashion was his love of life itself. Each collection a statement of the profoundness of this life, a master, a virtuoso to the end. His collections were never more beautiful, and left one wondering how could this man, this mind, have a pulse on the contemporary, creating captivating, glamourous modern collections. Perhaps he created the pulse, the beat that we all followed.

Born Karl Otto Lagerfeld in Hamburg, Germany in 1933. Lagerfeld moved to Paris to pursue his career in fashion. Many have called him a fashion freelancer in his early days working for many high end well known fashion houses until he was offered the position of creative director at the house of Chanel in 1983. He also designed for Fendi, and his own brand Karl Lagerfeld.

HL Paris Fashion Week: Yohann Fayolle - Ultra Sexy, Superbly Stylish, The Ultimate Summer Collection

Speculation of health problems arose after the Chanel Collection debuted in January 2019 after which is customary for the designer to take a bow and for the first time, Lagerfeld did not. He was admitted to the American Hospital in Paris on February 18, 2019 and passed away the next morning.

Funeral arrangements have not been publicized.


Image from Karl Lagerfeld IMDB promotional page.

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