The son of a wealthy Hamburg Businessman, he had a great interest in design, fashion, and visual art making sketches during the class and cut-out pictures from fashion magazines. He once explained the quest for learning was much more by frequently visiting Kunsthalle Hamburg Museum than he had in school. Focusing mainly on drawing and history he completed his secondary school at the Lycée Montaigne in Paris.
Karl Otto Lagerfeld was born on September 10, 1933, in Hamburg Germany. While the fashion designer was known to misrepresent his birth year and claimed to be younger. He too misrepresents his family background which was conclusively proven to be wrong. One of the leading newspapers of Germany has published his baptismal record after interviewing his classmate and teacher and confirmed his birth year as 1933.
Karl Lagerfeld was one of the most acclaimed German fashion designer, creative director, caricaturist, and photographer. He collaborated on a range of art-related and fashion projects. Addition to his own fashion label he was a major creative drive behind the world popular fashion brands specifically as creative director of the French fashion house Chanel and Italian fashion house Fendi. He was recognized by his signature attire white hair, detachable collars, and black sunglasses.
Young and Ambitious designer moves to Paris knowing his future lies elsewhere, after spending two years there, in 1955 he contested international wool secretariat sponsored coat design competition making the first place in coat category and it leads him to befriends another winner Yves Saint Laurent.
He worked full-time as a junior assistant with French designer Pierre Balmain, which later turned as an apprentice. Knowing that it was a demanding position, fresh designer remained there for three years. He took the role of artistic director for Jean Patou before launching his first collection in 1961. He studied art history from Rome his work soon followed; Lagerfeld designing collections for multiple brands includes Charles Jourdan, Chloé, Krizia, and Valentino.
Lagerfeld innovations in fashion and in-the-moment styles became a renowned work in the fashion industry. His appreciation from the past finding old dressing and fashion signs to reimagine and reconstruct. In 1967 he was hired to restructure and remodel Fendi’s fur line. Lagerfeld modernized designing has proved groundbreaking results introducing the use of mole, rabbit, and squirrel pelts into high fashion he remained with fashion house till his death.
In 1982 he was hired by the German fashion house Chanel, which was lifeless brand after the death of designer Coco Chanel for over a decade. He took the challenge subverting her ideas with his overly modernized approach, tracked and put life into the company, made it a huge success by refurbishing its ready to wear fashion line. Lagerfeld starred in the fashion world, he was prominent among media. During his career, he turned to a sparkling cracker and gained a reputation for jumping from one label from another with a track record of success that few designers have availed. He has made trendy items interlocking C’s, pearls, dual-toned footwear, and boucle tweed for new generation around the globe.
In addition to his fashion design talent, Karl Lagerfeld filmography overtook Chanel’s heritage to a new horizon putting life into the house through film and imagery; he shot and artistically directs all of Chanel’s advertisement.
During 1984, Karl Lagerfeld own brand was launched, structured and designed under the idea which he described as “intellectual sexiness”. Passing several years his Brand gained a status for quality tailoring with bold ready to wear like cardigan jacket with bright colour the label was later sold to Tommy Hilfiger.
He was called by Vogue as the matchless reviewer of the mood on the moment. In 2002 the founder of Diesel, Renzo Rosso was requested by him to team-up to work for a special denim collection for his Gallery. Lagerfeld Gallery was co-designed and developed by him and Diesel’s creative team consisted of five pieces to be presented in the designer’s catwalk show for Paris Fashion Week. Representing creativity, tradition, and challenge he described the alliance with Diesel was a great gift.
His celebrity profile gained popularity following a documentary focused on his life and fashion work title as “Lagerfeld Confidential” and in 2008 his signature attire was reproduced in teddy bear form by Steiff. From 2013 fulfilling his boyhood ambitions to become a professional caricaturist, the German newspaper frequently publishes his political cartoon.
He remained the centre of multiple controversies of being racist, opposing the Me Too Movement, fatphobic, and Islamophobic. Leading to health complications on February 19, 2019, he died at the age of 85.
Karl Lagerfeld Interview