– KARL LAGERFELD
” Never use the word “cheap”. Today everybody can look chic in inexpensive clothes (the rich buy them too). There is good clothing design on every level today. You can be the chicest thing in the world in a T-shirt and jeans — it’s up to you. “
Karl Lagerfeld (1933-2019)
The world remained without one of the most important, influential, celebrated fashion designers and figures of today. Genius Karl Lagerfeld has died in Paris following a short illness and was 85. He left an eternally memorable stamp as a designer and innovator. Karl was creative director of the French fashion house Chanel (founded by Gabrielle Chanel) from 1983 until his death, creative director of the Italian fur and leather goods fashion house Fendi, and of his own fashion label Karl. His own fashion label combines Parisian-inspired styles with an effortless, rock-chic ease including women’s and men’s ready-to-wear and accessories. He was recognized for his distinct style, with a specific symbol, signature white hair, black sunglasses, high, starched detachable collars and fingerless gloves.
After living in Paris for two years in 1955, Karl Lagerfeld entered a coat design competition sponsored by the International Wool Secretariat at the age of sixteen. He won the competition and befriended Yves Saint Laurent, and was soon after hired by Pierre Balmain. He worked as Balmain’s assistant, and later apprentice, for three years. In 1958, Lagerfeld became the artistic director for Jean Patou. In 1964, he went to Rome to study art history and work for Tiziano, but was soon designing freelance for a multitude of brands including Chloé, Charles Jourdan, Krizia, and Valentino.
He was hired by Fendi in 1967 to modernize their fur line. His innovative designed proved groundbreaking, as he introduced the use of mole, rabbit, and squirrel pelts into high fashion. Lagerfeld remained with Fendi until his death.
Lagerfeld was hired by Chanel at the time when the brand was considered a “near-dead brand” at the time since the death of Coco Chanel a decade prior. Karl himself brought life back into the company with a huge success by renewing and reviving its ready-to-wear fashion line.
Despite the remarkable collections he has created in his 36 year career as creative director of Chanel, fashion shows for the French house are rarely anyone can repeat. He transformed fashion runways into cities, airports, gardens and even made a fashion show at the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Although he had his own special seal, taste and style, he remained faithful to the recognizable Chanel style. Continuing what Gabrielle began and making the brand world-wide, real modern luxury fashion brand.
Hilditch & Key Shirts
His distinctive style and seal were always forwarded with Hilditch & Key shirts with high collar.
His last collection for Chanel was 2019 Spring-Summer Haute Couture collection in January, at the Grand Palais in Paris.
Virginie Viard, Lagerfeld’s longtime collaborator, will succeed him as creative chief of Chanel
Thank you, Karl Lagerfeld.
You will be truly missed.
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Boyanakeko is current student at the Faculty of Psychology at Sapienza University of Rome. She is editor-in-chief and author at Vitae Moderna. ✉️ email@example.com