Karl Lagerfeld Has Died at 85

The sad news comes after a period of ill health for the legendary designer.

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  • Karl Lagerfeld has died at the age of 85.
  • The iconic Chanel designer passed away in Paris after a period of ill health.
  • A fashion legend for decades, Lagerfeld only recently missed two of Chanel’s haute couture shows, with his absence explained as him “feeling tired."

    Legendary designer and fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld, famed as one of the fashion industry's most inspiring and influential directors, has died at the age of 85, French media reports.

    Lagerfeld, creative director to Chanel, passed away on Tuesday morning at the American Hospital in Paris, having been admitted just the day before, according to French fashion website Pure People. The sad news and huge loss for the fashion industry follows weeks of ill health for the prolific design figure.

    Earlier in the year, Lagerfeld unusually missed Chanel’s Haute Couture spring/summer 2019 show, with his absence explained by a statement that read: "Mr Lagerfeld, artistic director of Chanel, who was feeling tired, asked Virginie Viard, director of the creative studio of the house, to represent him.” The brand later said: “We wish Mr Lagerfeld to recover quickly."

    It was the first time he had missed his iconic catwalk bow during the finale of a Chanel show since taking on his role as creative director in 1983.

    With an unrivaled career that spanned over seven decades and shaped the industry, Lagerfeld first began his journey into the world of luxury fashion as an assistant to Pierre Balmain back in 1955. He went on to create collections for Fendi, as well as Chanel and his own signature label.

    The house of Chanel and celebrity tributes have already begun to pour in for Lagerfeld across both Twitter and Instagram, with the likes of Victoria Beckham, Donatella Versace, Alexa Chung, and Diane Kruger paying their respects.

    View this post on Instagram

    It is with deep sadness that the House of CHANEL announces the passing of Karl Lagerfeld, the Creative Director for the CHANEL Fashion House since 1983. An extraordinary creative individual, Karl Lagerfeld reinvented the brand’s codes created by Gabrielle Chanel: the CHANEL jacket and suit, the little black dress, the precious tweeds, the two-tone shoes, the quilted handbags, the pearls and costume jewelry. Regarding Gabrielle Chanel, he said, “My job is not to do what she did, but what she would have done. The good thing about Chanel is it is an idea you can adapt to many things.” A prolific creative mind with endless imagination, Karl Lagerfeld explored many artistic horizons, including photography and short films. The House of CHANEL benefited from his talent for all the branding campaigns related to Fashion since 1987. Finally, one cannot refer to Karl Lagerfeld without mentioning his innate sense of repartee and self-mockery. Alain Wertheimer, CEO of CHANEL, said: “Thanks to his creative genius, generosity and exceptional intuition, Karl Lagerfeld was ahead of his time, which widely contributed to the House of CHANEL’s success throughout the world. Today, not only have I lost a friend, but we have all lost an extraordinary creative mind to whom I gave carte blanche in the early 1980s to reinvent the brand.” Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Fashion at CHANEL, said: “Fashion show after fashion show, collection after collection, Karl Lagerfeld left his mark on the legend of Gabrielle Chanel and the history of the House of CHANEL. He steadfastly promoted the talent and expertise of CHANEL’s ateliers and Métiers d’Art, allowing this exceptional know-how to shine throughout the world. The greatest tribute we can pay today is to continue to follow the path he traced by – to quote Karl – ‘continuing to embrace the present and invent the future’.” Virginie Viard, Director of CHANEL’s Fashion Creation Studio and Karl Lagerfeld’s closest collaborator for more than 30 years, has been entrusted by Alain Wertheimer with the creative work for the collections, so that the legacy of Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld can live on.

    A post shared by CHANEL (@chanelofficial) on

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