Haute-couture designer Karl Lagerfeld has died

Karl Lagerfeld dead

Karl Lagerfeld dead

Chanel, the iconic French fashion house Lagerfeld led for almost four decades, confirmed his passing at the age of 85, prompting an unprecedented outpouring of emotion from designers and celebrities.

Lagerfeld apprenticed at Balmain and in 1959 was hired at another Paris-based house, Patou, where he spent four years as artistic director.

Lagerfeld passed away today at the age of 85. "But it has also lost one of its greatest teachers".

The designer prompted health concerns in January, when he missed Chanel's Paris haute couture shows, with another of the brand's directors stepping in for him.

Lagerfeld, who transformed Chanel after taking the helm in 1983, was rarely seen without his dark glasses, a silver ponytail and fingerless gloves - gaining him the reputation as the most recognizable man in fashion. The story goes that it was after an introduction to Lagerfeld by Prince Rainier of Monaco's chamberlain (a mutual friend) in 1987 that she was invited to work on embroidery at Chanel, marking the start of a 32-year-long relationship. The world is more attractive now because of you.

A weight-loss book he published in 2005 - "The Karl Lagerfeld Diet" - consolidated his status as a pop culture icon.

A 1984 portrait of Karl Lagerfeld with no sunglasses.

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Lagerfeld's longtime muse Diane Kruger, who began her career as a model and had been close with the designer since the '90s, said she was "heartbroken" over not being able to say a proper goodbye.

It had already been speculated that Virginie Viard, director of the creative studio of the house of Chanel, would be picked to be his successor.

Lagerfeld - dubbed "Kaiser Karl" and "Fashion Meister" among a whole host of media monikers - was born in Hamburg to a German mother and a Swedish father who imported condensed milk.

While Lagerfeld's eponymous label never gained as much notoriety as Chanel and Fendi, he undoubtedly turned his likeness into a selling point. In 1984 he launched his own name label.

The message said: "He was one of the most influential and celebrated designers of the 21st century and an iconic, universal symbol of style". Driven by a phenomenal sense of creativity, Karl was passionate, powerful and intensely curious. We will never forget your incredible talent and endless inspiration.

She wrote on Instagram: "Karl your genius touched the lives of so many, especially Gianni and I". "Karl was brilliant, he was wicked, he was amusing, he was generous beyond measure, and he was deeply kind". "One day, she slammed the piano cover closed on my fingers and said, 'draw, it makes less noise", he was quoted as saying in the book "The World According to Karl".

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