He was the last active designer of the era of the great masters of fashion of the 20th century. When asked about successors and retirement, Lagerfeld always cut off that he would die in his post.
At the age of 16, Lagerfeld, pretending to be 21, won a prestigious Parisian competition organized by the International Wool Secretariat by presenting a coat to the jury.
Unlike his main rival, Yves Saint Laurent, Lagerfeld has been building a career as a stylist over the years. At that time, this term meant a designer working for various fashion houses. Lagerfeld started out as an assistant to Pierre Balmain, worked for Jean Patou, collaborated with Krizia and Charles Jourdan, but became especially popular with Chloé.
1961 © ullstein bild / ullstein bild via Getty Images
Perhaps the most capable designer the fashion world has ever known. He was able to release several collections a year for Chanel, Fendi and be behind the wheel of his own brand of the same name.
In The Beautiful Fall, writer Alicia Drake recounts the memories of Lagerfeld's colleagues when he first started working at Chanel. Somehow on the eve of the debut show of Gianfranco Ferre for Christian Dior, in a matter of minutes he rendered the alleged images not only of the Ferret collection, but also of other designers from the Paris Fashion Week. In addition, Lagerfeld acted as art director and photographer for advertising campaigns for Chanel, filmed films and engaged in many additional projects.
1983 © John van Hasselt / Corbis via Getty Images
Lagerfeld said that he was never fully satisfied with his work. However, he believed that this self-criticism was the main stimulus for growth and professional development.
In 1962, the designer became responsible for the design of the women's collections of the Italian house Fendi, to which he gave a second life, significantly modernizing it. By the way, it was Lagerfeld who came up with the logo with an inverted F.
Fendi show at Milan Fashion Week 2018 © Andreas Rentz / Getty Images
In the 1970s, the designer attempted to launch his own brand, Karl Lagerfeld, with which he had no luck for a long time, but after numerous alterations, the brand still became popular.
He took over as creative director for Chanel in 1983, marking the first major design appointment. He was 50 years old. He once said that “Coco has never done what I do at Chanel. She would have hated my work. " Subsequently, Lagerfeld turned Chanel into a real megabrand.
© Lucas Schifres / Getty Images
Lagerfeld will always be remembered for his sharp remarks. In this he has a lot in common with Coco Chanel herself, whose biting aphorisms are constantly remembered.
1 of 3 "Demonstration" of the Chanel collection, Paris, 2014 © AP Photo / Francois Mori Show of the Chanel collection spring-summer - 2016 © AP Photo / Francois Mori Show of the Chanel collection spring-summer - 2019 in Paris in October 2018. Karl Lagerfeld is accompanied by Virginie Viard © Dominique Charriau / WireImage
His words were not always politically correct and often outraged the public. Lagerfeld criticized fat people, the #MeToo movement, Kate Middleton, once said that Meryl Streep is a great actress, but looks cheap. The designer was indignant at the fashion of taking selfies, and his statements about colleagues in the workshop were especially merciless. Once Lagerfeld was asked what he thought about tattoos, and he replied that "it's as terrible as wearing a Pucci dress all my life." Scandals were an important part of his image.
Karl Lagerfeld and his godson Hudson Kroenig at the final of the Chanel Cruise 2017/2018 show © Stephane Cardinale - Corbis / Corbis via Getty Images
Not a single Chanel show was complete without the final appearance of the designer to the guests. This year's couture show for the brand Lagerfeld did not go to the bow for the first time, he was replaced by the director of the creative studio Virginie Viard, who today was appointed the new creative director of Chanel.>