Today, the fashion world mourns the passing of Karl Lagerfeld, who died this morning in Paris at age 85. The German-born designer, who is best known for transforming and revitalizing the house of Chanel as well as designing for both Fendi and his namesake label, leaves behind an enormous legacy and void within the industry.
Lagerfeld joined Chanel in 1983, where he modernized the iconic French fashion house and redesigned its signature tweed suits, quilted handbags and advertising campaigns. Under his creative direction, Chanel quickly became one of the most successful luxury fashion brands in the world.
In addition to being a renowned fashion designer, Lagerfeld was also a fashion photographer, producing memorable magazine covers and editorials for the likes of Harper’s Bazaar and Numéro. In 1987, Lagerfeld started shooting Chanel’s advertising campaigns starring many of his muses, including Inès de la Fressange, Claudia Schiffer, Stella Tennant and, more recently, Luna Bijl and Kaia Gerber.
Rumors of Karl’s ailing health began to swirl when he was notably absent from his final bow at the end of Chanel’s Haute Couture Spring 2019 show during Paris Fashion Week in January, with his right-hand woman (and now Karl’s successor), Virginie Viard, taking his place.
TheFashionSpot forum members began to pay tribute to Lagerfeld the moment the news struck this morning. “Breathtaking news when I saw the notification this morning. Karl legacy and impact will live on forever. It’s sudden in a sense that we all expected to see a grandiose farewell at least. But when you think about it, his whole career has been showing his best at every chance. RIP.” [TheoG].
“I don’t think we even need to say the weight Karl had in fashion, and what a loss this is. In a lot of ways, he WAS fashion. And fashion, as we know it, might die with him.” [Marc10]
“It’s sad. He is/was my hero. Weirdly, yesterday I was looking at pictures of the Fall 1993 Chanel Couture show. The show that started my love for fashion and my love for Karl. Such an icon. He changed fashion and culture in a tremendous way. I feel blessed to have witnessed his creativity, wear his clothes and met him several times.” [Lola701]
“I just don’t know what to say. I’m heartbroken. He really lived life to the fullest. What an inspiration! His career is legendary. His passion and work will never be forgotten. We love you Karl!” [GivenchyHomme]
“I’m speechless. It’s very tragic, and it’s a major loss in the fashion world. He was the most creative, brilliant and innovative designer ever. To think this happened during Fashion Week. Wow. I’m in a state of shock right now. RIP.” [Frida]
“An icon has passed, thank you Karl for your work/legacy, RIP.” [Nymphaea]
“What a sad day for fashion. I’m shocked. May he rest in peace.” [Lausanne]
“Fashion changes incessantly, but Karl Lagerfeld remained as a constant for decades, outlasting everyone else, both in life and work. Now he is gone. We have lost more than we can imagine.” [tigerrouge]
Join the tribute to the legendary designer at our dedicated Karl Lagerfeld thread here.