Yesterday and today, the fashion world is in mourning. Karl Lagerfeld has died and the industry will never be the same. He was a cornerstone, a foundation, of the industry.
Karl Otto Lagerfeld was a creative director, fashion designer, artist, photographer, who lived in Paris. Born in 1933 Karl was quick to learn, and branched out as soon as possible. By 1955, after living in Paris for two years, Lagerfeld entered a coat design competition sponsored by the International Wool Secretariat. He won the competition and became quick friends with Yves Saint Laurent, and was then hired by Pierre Balmain. He worked as Pierre Balmain’s assistant, and later apprentice, for three years. (Wikipedia)
Most importantly in the 1980s, when Chanel was antiquated and dying, he took over. He turned it into the multi-billion dollar empire that we know and love today. Insane runways in the Palais in Paris full of rockets, crystals, industrial sites. and models fighting for a change. His collections have met us at the beach and had us walk on water. Never a dull moment his runways were and extension of his personality.
His last show, 2019, Palais de Paris, Haute Couture
With his death may have shared their stories. Models like Naomi Campbell, and Karen Elson, speak warmly of him. Others, say he was a sizist and misogynist. Perhaps, he was a bit of both, he was known to be cruel at times. Karl, however, made a point of saying,
“Everything I say is a joke. I am a joke of myself.”
Karl was indeed a man of great talent. His vision and vast knowledge made and broke careers. He was known for his acerbic wit and sometimes, brutally honest personality.
Karl Lagerfeld, was one thing. Larger than life. He created, made, spoke fashion. He made the industry what we see today. He has left a legacy for us to build upon. Let us hope that we choose to do the right thing with it.
Karls Interview with Suzy Menkes on how he wants to be remembered