Renowned for his signature style, iconic caricatures and for his position as Chanel’s head designer and creative director, Karl Lagerfeld’s presence in the fashion world transcended the images he created in print media as he became a true icon through his personal style.
Instantly recognisable by his sleek, white hair pulled back into a ponytail, black sunglasses and fingerless gloves, Lagerfeld embodied the aloof facade associated with those in the fashion world, but was known to be warm to those he worked with and critical in influencing and contributing to the careers of many a model and photographer.
Born in Germany in 1933, Lagerfeld was famously known to rarely reveal his birth year, claiming initially that it was 1938 and later, 1935 – a truly fashionable thing to do.
With a history deeply ingrained in fashion, Lagerfeld began his career in fashion in 1958 as Pierre Balmain’s assistant working for distinguished fashion label Balmain.
By 1964, Lagerfeld was freelancing for Chloé before collaborating with Italian fashion house Fendi. However, his first rise to true international acclaim came when he joined the house of Chanel in the 1980s and integrated the interlocked “CC” monogram that we know and love today.
He will be remembered by the industry and loved ones as having been the “Kaiser” of fashion throughout the 2000s and 2010s, ushering in new faces and creating breathtaking pieces.