Couturier and fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld breathed his last in Paris today. The designer, who was 85 years old and sported a signature style that comprised of dark glasses, white high collars, white long hair and black suits that dominated high fashion for decades, served as the creative director of high-end couture houses like Fendi and Chanel.
As we celebrate the illustrious career of the German designer, photographer, film director, and artist, here is a look back at some of his iconic moments over the years.
First major experience
Got his first major experience in 1955 by winning a design contest for a coat at the famed fashion house Pierre Balmain. He worked at Balmain for three years before moving onto working with another French designer, Jean Patou.
Job at Fendi
Lagerfeld began working as a freelancer for Chloé in 1964 where he achieved worldwide recognition with his monumental spring-wear collection for the brand. Given his success at Chloé, he was offered a collaboration with Fendi in 1972. He went on to become the creative director of this Italian brand and established himself as a fashion mogul during this period. He also designed the famous Fendi’s logo.
Chief designer at Chanel
Almost a decade later, in 1983, Lagerfeld took over as chief designer of Chanel. Keeping the brand’s iconic motifs and designs untouched, he played with the texture of the fabric, cuts and structure of the outfits and contributed to making Chanel a powerful name in the world.
He spent 36 years working for the company during which he did not just limit his expertise and skill to fashion, but also used this talent to help to create Chanel‘s widely popular fragrance line. Thanks to Lagerfeld’s leadership, Chanel went on to become the most profitable French brand of the mid 90’s.
The world of diet
In the early 2000’s, he shed some 43kg (93lb) and documented his experience in a book The 3D Diet. “I suddenly wanted to wear clothes designed by Hedi Slimane, who used to work for Saint Laurent and now creates the Dior Homme collections,” he explained in The Telegraph in 2004.
While continuing his position as the creative director of Chanel, Lagerfeld also expanded his horizons and collaborated with Diesel and H&M. Reportedly, in 2002, his denim collection with Diesel sold out within a week in New York stores.
His own collection
Two years later, Lagerfeld launched a men and women’s collection under his own name, K Karl Lagerfeld.
Not just in the field of fashion designing, Lagerfeld was an established name in the field of fashion photography too. He shot for popular magazines like Vogue, V Magazine, and Harper’s Bazaar and carved a name for himself in this field.
Directed a movie
In 2013, Lagerfeld directed the film Once Upon A Time…, a movie that featured the story of Coco Chanel. The film starred Kiera Knightley as the leading lady.