When it comes to international fashion, there are a few names which always stand out. Karl Lagerfeld was a renowned name across the globe for his aspirational and cutting edge approach to fashion and style. Karl was one of the most influential and iconic designers of the 21st century, and a universal symbol of style. Driven by an inexhaustible amount of curiosity and creativity Karl has had many successful and dreamy fashion shows. From the Fendi show on the Trevi fountains, to the Chanel spaceship show, one was better than the other.
German designer and photographer, Karl was known as the creative power behind the modern revival of Chanel since 1983. He has been associated with the Italian luxury brand Fendi since 1965 until 2019. In the year 1984 Karl started his own fashion house, Karl Lagerfeld while continuing his association with Fendi and Chanel.
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Starting his career at Balmain as Pierre Balmain's assistant in 1955 , he won first prize in a contest organised by the International Wool Association, for a sketch of a coat produced by Pierre Balmain. After three years of working at Balmain, he moved to Jean Patou where was involved in the design of ten haute couture collections. In the year 1964 Karl began to freelance for French fashion house Chloé. It was in 1975 that he became the first designer to introduce a perfume for the brand called CHLOE. 1983 marked a drastic change in his career when he was appointed as the art director for the Italian luxury fashion house, Chanel. Lagerfeld worked hard to revive the brand by creating a modern take on its legacy. He has made some classic items for the house of Chanel including the tweed suit, the use of pearls and the interlocking C's which has now become a symbol associated with the brand worldwide. It was only in 1984 that the designer founded this own line, Karl Lagerfeld. He went behind the lens to shoot campaigns for his brand in 1987 and has become renowned for his work as a photographer ever since.
As he walked in to the 21st century, Karl changed his look and redefined his image after losing 42 kilograms (93 lbs) with a self-imposed diet. In 2004 he was the first designer in the world to be asked by fashion giant, H&M to collaborate on a capsule collection of 30 pieces. In the year 2011, Karl's life had a new addition, Choupette Lagerfeld, who was his snowy white cat. Choupette quickly became fashion’s favourite cat when Lagerfeld adopted her from model Baptiste Giabiconi in 2011. Known for her distinctive bright blue eyes and white fur, the cat has modelled for V Magazine and Vogue. Last year he collaborated with international model, Kaia Gerber, to introduce the KARL LAGERFELD X KAIA collection.
In addition to his design talents, Lagerfeld was also a photographer and filmmaker; he also shot and creatively directed all of Chanel’s advertising. Furthermore, the designer not only designed outfits but also some hotels including - two spectacular suites in the iconic Hôtel de Crillon in Paris in 2017 and a 6-star, 290-room hotel in Macau in 2018.
Karl Lagerfeld passed away in Paris, France, on February 19. Lagerfeld transformed the way fashion is seen and worn. After his death, he leaves behind an extraordinary legacy as one of the greatest designers of our time. Karl Lagerfeld will always remain in our hearts.
We've put together a list of Karl's best runway shows which will surely be a visual treat.