Karl Lagerfeld, creative director of luxury fashion houses Chanel and Fendi, as well as his own eponymous fashion label, has died at the age of 85.
In January he missed Chanel’s haute couture show in Paris, fuelling speculation about his health.
Born in Hamburg, Germany, Mr Lagerfeld began working in fashion professionally when he was 22 years old. He placed runner-up to Yves Saint Laurent in a design competition and was taken on as an apprentice with Pierre Balmain.
After three years with Balmain, he began designing for Jean Patou, but his collections were not critically successful, and he decided to quit and reassess. Returning to the design world two years later, he freelanced with multiple design houses, including Tiziani, Chloe, Fendi, Valentino, and Repetto. He also produced costumes for multiple film and theatrical productions.
In the early 1980s, he began to add more and more international design houses to his roster, including, Isetan in Japan, Charles Jourdan, and Ballantyne. In the late 90s and early 2000s, he began designing collections for popular retail companies, including a limited-edition jeans line for Diesel, and an entire collection for H&M. His net worth was estimated to be around $200 million.
Mr Lagerfeld’s iconic look consisted of white hair pulled back in a pony tail, black sunglasses, fingerless gloves, and high starched collars. He is survived by his beloved cat and muse, Choupette.