NEWSWATCH: Celebrated fashion designer and Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld has died at the age of 85. The cause of death has not yet been released.
Image credit: Stephane Feugere via Dezeen
German-born Lagerfeld began his career as an assistant to Pierre Balmain in 1955. He also served as the creative director of the Italian fur and leather goods fashion company Fendi and his own eponymous fashion label.
But it was his role as artistic director for luxury fashion house Chanel that cemented his status as a visionary. Lagerfeld held his role at Chanel for a record-breaking 36 years, and he's credited with turning the label into one of the most profitable and admired luxury brands in the world.
Known for his slick white hair, black sunglasses and gloves, Lagerfeld died in Paris following rumours of ill health.
The designer was a no-show at Chanel's haute couture shows during Paris Fashion Week. The company later said that Lagerfeld had skipped out because he was tired, however his absence fueled speculation about his health, reports IOL
. This was the first time he had ever missed giving a bow at the end of a Chanel catwalk show.
In addition to his design talents, Lagerfeld was a photographer and filmmaker, and he shot and creatively directed all of Chanel’s advertising. According to Business of Fashion
, he also designed hotel rooms, video games, motorcycle helmets, a BMW, and a cosmetics range inspired by his also-famous cat, Choupette, and directed an ad campaign for Magnum ice cream bars that featured a life size sculpture of model Baptiste Giabiconi rendered in chocolate.
In 2017, he was awarded Paris’ highest honor, La Médaille Grand Vermeil de la Ville, on top of many other accolades, including the Outstanding Achievement Award at the British Fashion Awards in 2015 and the Couture Council Fashion Visionary Award in 2010.