Karl Lagerfeld - Portrait

Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld was one of the best-known and most innovative fashion designers of all time. In the course of his career, the Hamburg-born designer influenced the artistic orientation of renowned fashion houses such as Chanel, Chloé and Fendi. He also founded his own labels such as Karl Lagerfeld and Lagerfeld Gallery. In addition, fashion tsar Claudia Schiffer made a breakthrough as a model and was successful as a photographer, costume designer and perfume creator.

Lagerfeld’s main visual features were his white powdered plait, his thick sunglasses and his stand-up collar. In addition, a fan belonged to his appearance for years. Lagerfeld died on 19 February 2019 in the Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine. His ashes are to be partly mixed with those of his mother and partly with those of his partner Jaques de Bascher, who died in 1989, and then scattered.


Biography of Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld was born on 10 September 1933 in Hamburg. His father Otto was the founder of Glücksklee Milchgesellschaft mbH, and the family was accordingly wealthy. In 1953 Karl moved with his mother Elisabeth to Paris, where he tried to gain a foothold in the fashion industry after finishing school. First he worked as an illustrator, then as a tailor and finally as a designer.

In 1955 he won a design competition and was hired by Pierre Balmain as his assistant. Three years later, Lagerfeld became the artistic director of Jean Patou. In July 1958 Lagerfeld was able to present his first own collection called Roland Karl. After working exclusively for Jean Patou for five years, from 1963 he worked on a freelance basis for various labels, including Chloé and Fendi. His assignment at Fendi was to modernize the company’s fur fashion. He then introduced clothes made of mole, rabbit and squirrel fur into high fashion.

Karl Lagerfeld's international breakthrough at Chanel

At the beginning of 1983 Chanel appointed Lagerfeld as artistic director. At that time, the company was still suffering severely from the death of its founder Coco Chanel in 1971 and threatened to disappear into insignificance. Lagerfeld, who initially only worked as a consultant in the company’s haute couture division, was promoted to Chief Designer of the fashion company in 1984. In this function he led Chanel to new splendour by combining the legacy of the company’s founder with his fresh ideas.

Chanel allowed Lagerfeld to work for other fashion labels on the side, as the company saw this as a creative addition to its own collections. In 1984 Lagerfeld founded his own label Karl Lagerfeld, for which he designed extravagant wool fashion. However, the label was only moderately successful, which is why Lagerfeld sold it after only three years.

Further fields of activity of Lagerfeld

In addition to fashion design, Lagerfeld also worked in other artistic fields. In 1996 he was awarded the Culture Prize by the German Society for Photography. In the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, he also designed stage sets for various theatre and opera productions. On 19 February 2019 he died in a hospital in the Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine. Pancreatic cancer is suspected to be the cause of death.

Quotes of Karl Lagerfeld

If you see it you will think about everything except sex, because it is the unsexiest room ever. I love unsexy bedrooms.

- Karl Lagerfeld

I’m a kind of fashion nymphomaniac who never gets an orgasm.

- Karl Lagerfeld

I live in a set, with the curtains of the stage closed with no audience - but who cares?

- Karl Lagerfeld

Chic is a kind of mayonnaise, either it tastes, or it doesn't.

- Karl Lagerfeld

I lost 200lb to wear suits by Hedi Slimane.

- Karl Lagerfeld

If you throw money out of the window throw it out with joy. Don’t say: 'one shouldn’t do that' - that is bourgeois.

- Karl Lagerfeld

The most important piece in the house is the garbage can.

- Karl Lagerfeld

I don't know Heidi Klum. She was never known in France. Claudia Schiffer also doesn't know who she is.

- Karl Lagerfeld

I think tattoos are horrible. It's like living in a Pucci dress full-time. If you're young and tight, maybe it's OK, but…

- Karl Lagerfeld

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