Karl Lagerfeld: The life of a design icon in pictures

Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has died, aged 85, in Paris.

He was one of the world's most iconic designers, at the heart of not one, not two, but three fashion houses.

Paris. February 2008. Karl LAGERFELD greets the press after the show.
CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON/MAGNUM 

Karl Lagerfeld had been at the creative helm of Chanel since 1983 and had been designing for Fendi since 1965. He also designed collections for his own brand.

Lagerfeld was born Karl Otto Lagerfeldt in pre-war Germany. He changed his name because he believed Lagerfeld sounded "more commercial".

The designer emigrated to Paris as a teenager, and became a design assistant for Pierre Balmain.

Karl Lagerfeld had been at the creative helm of Chanel since 1983 and had been designing for Fendi since 1965. He also designed collections for his own brand.

Lagerfeld was born Karl Otto Lagerfeldt in pre-war Germany. He changed his name because he believed Lagerfeld sounded "more commercial".

The designer emigrated to Paris as a teenager, and became a design assistant for Pierre Balmain.

Karl Lagerfeld on the phone
GETTY IMAGES
Karl Lagerfeld seen in around 1960, then the artistic director of the Jean Patou fashion brand
 
Karl Lagerfeld fits one of his designs on top model Ines de la Fressange at Chloe's Paris studio.
PIERRE VAUTHEY/SYGMA/GETTY IMAGES
Lagerfeld fits one of his designs on top model Ines de la Fressange at Chloe's Paris studio.
 
Karl Lagerfeld, artistic director of Chloé Paris, France.
DANIEL SIMON/GAMMA-RAPHO/GETTY IMAGES
Lagerfeld works on design sketches at Chloe's Paris studio.


He began his career with Chanel in 1983, a decade after Coco Chanel died. In 1984 he launched his own name label.

He cut a striking figure wearing a distinctive ensemble of crisp white, high-collared shirts with black tailored jacket and jeans, punctuated with a tie, shades, fingerless gloves and black boots.

As a designer he transformed the fortunes of Chanel, one of the leading names in high fashion.

Naomi Campbell models the S/S19 ready to wear collection
MICHEL ARNAUD/CORBIS/GETTY IMAGES
Naomi Campbell models the Chanel ready to wear collection

 

Linda Evangelista walks the runway at the Chanel Ready to Wear Fall/Winter 1991-1992 fashion show during the Paris Fashion Week in March, 1991 in Paris, France.
VICTOR VIRGILE/GAMMA-RAPHO/GETTY IMAGES
Linda Evangelista walks the runway at the Chanel Ready to Wear Fall/Winter 1991-1992 fashion show.


In 2018 Chanel become the first luxury fashion house in the world to stop using exotic animal skins, like snake, crocodile, lizard and stingray. 

"We did it because it's in the air, but it's not an air people imposed to us," Mr Lagerfeld said. He argued "there was not much fur" in Chanel's work to begin with.

German model Claudia Schiffer and English model Kate Moss though displayed fur creations designed by Karl Lagerfeld for the Fall-Winter ready-to-wear collection of Chanel in Paris. 


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