Karl Otto Lagerfeld was born in 1933 in Hamburg, Germany. His father was a rich businessman from Sweden, who worked with the production of milk powder. His mother, besides violinist, worked with the sale of lingeries.
In the 1930s, Karl’s family moved to a rural area, due to Hitler’s rise to power in Germany. They returned to Hamburg when Karl was already a teenager and started to focus on fashion. He studied in private schools and graduated in Drawing and History.
In 1955 he won an international coats competition, the International Wool Secretariat, which helped him get a job as an assistant to Pierre Balmain. Three years later he went to work for the French designer Jean Patou, where he designed more than 10 high-fashion collections under the name of ‘Roland Karl’.
His first collections with Jean Patou were widely criticized for not being innovative. It came out in newspapers and magazines that “The press booed the collection” and “looked smart and extremely marketable, ready to wear, not haute couture.” Lagerfeld reports that he became so bored that he decided to spend two years traveling on several beaches.
He was able to work as a freelancer for the Chloé brand in 1964. Some time later he was named the brand’s artistic director. Karl also participated in several designs with many couture brands. In the 70’s he became a collaborator of Curiel and worked for Fendi.
In 1983, he was appointed creative director of Chanel, with the objective to continue the work begun by the founder of the brand, Coco Chanel, who died in 1971. The first line launched by Lagerfeld, managed to rescue the essence of the brand, bringing the brand that was the brink of bankruptcy back to success. And that was a prime factor for him to be considered a great stylist.
A year after being hired by Chanel, Karl finally launched his own brand.
February 19, 2019, a Tuesday morning, Karl dies at age 85 in Paris after being rushed to a hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine on the outskirts of Paris the night before. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer.
There are rumors that the pet cat of Karl, Choupette, will inherit part of his estimated fortune at 300 million dollars.
Her latest collection was launched on March 5, 2019, at the end of Paris fashion week. It was a very exciting parade where the models wept during the presentation.
Penelope Cruz and Cara Delevingne, friends of Karl, made a point of parading using the latest pieces created by him.
Some celebrity quotes about Karl:
“You made me feel like a princess, I never understood what you saw in me, but I’m eternally grateful for the support you and Chanel gave me in the last 15 years.” Rest in peace Karl, you were a true genius and you will do a lot lack”Lilly Allen
“So incredibly sad to hear that Karl was a genius and always kind and generous to me both personally and professionally”Victoria Beckham
“Karl, your genius has touched the lives of many, especially Gianni and I. We will never forget your incredible talent and endless inspiration.Donatella Versace