One of the most creative minds to have graced the fashion world, Karl Lagerfeld was the son of a wealthy businessman originally from Hamburg, Germany. After his family relocated to France, Lagerfeld concentrated on illustrations and history, where he graduated from Lycée Montaigne.
Throughout his life, Lagerfeld had many passions that he explored; however, a design of a coat won him first place in the International Woolmark Prize, which led to his position as Pierre Balmain’s assistant in 1955.
Designing, creating, and fashion became his focus, collaborating with a variety of celebrities, designers, musicians, iconic brands and anyone that he could be inspired by to create. Driven with a persistent mind, he drew ideas from people, history, places, art and pop culture. Karl’s passion for creating went beyond just collaborations and designing ready-to-wear collections for fashion houses like Chanel and Fendi. Succeeding in everything he touched, he became a photographer and filmmaker, shooting Chanel’s advertisements, keeping true to the heritage that enriches Chanel.
Before Lagerfeld breathed Chanel’s ready to wear collection back to life he also designed ten haute couture collections for Jean Patou before he freelanced for Chloé, just to name a few of the many fashion houses he designed for. In 1984 Lagerfeld established his own line, Karl Lagerfeld which was sold to the brand Tommy Hilfiger group in 2005. Lagerfeld still stood as chief creative and remained involved in the design process.
Lagerfeld’s creative mind led him to shoot his first campaign in 1987. He immediately became delighted in the world of photography and film, which gave us another peek inside the brilliant mind that went a step further, opening up his own studio in Paris in 1999. Endless images were captured of some of the world’s greatest icons and from creative industries. Steidl, a publisher and printing company, based in Germany, published his photos into art books making his images readily accessible.
Working across multiple industries, Lagerfeld left a legacy that will be remembered for years to come. One worth mentioning is the four-year renovation of the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris, and The Karl Lagerfeld Hotel which was due to open in late 2020 prior to his death. Becoming deeply fascinated in the world of architecture and interior design as a place to draw inspiration from one can only imagine the wonders Lagerfeld would have continued to create.
Karl lived in Paris with his beloved cat, Choupette. He died in Paris on the 19th of February 2019.