Karl Lagerfeld is an unmistakeable fashion icon with his signature style made up of dark sun glasses, long white hair, and a variety of very stylish black and white suits. The German native is a designer, photographer, artist, and creative director for prominent fashion houses like Chanel and Fendi. DresstoKILL wants to celebrate Lagerfeld’s triumphant success and inherent mystique by looking back on his defining moments and achievements throughout the years.

 

1. The Balmain years
His first major experience in high fashion came in 1955 when he was selected to work in the couture house for famed designer Pierre Balmain after wining a design contest for a coat. He worked at Balmain for 3 years before moving onto creating pieces for another french designer, Jean Patou.

 

 

2. From freelancing for Chloé to international recognition
After years of designing  for Patou and Roman fashion brand Tiziani, he began working as a freelancer for Chloé in 1964, and achieved worldwide recognition and acclaim when he released a monumental spring-wear collection for the brand. His fashion shows were entertaining and his designs were innovative, his time at Chloé launched him into the fashion stratosphere.

 

 

3. Fendi and his rise to fame
Given his success with Chloé he was asked to collaborate with Fendi in 1972 with the task of designing clothing, furs, and accessories for the Italian brand. Lagerfeld continued his climb up the fashion ladder with numerous design contracts and collections under his belt, he would soon become an icon.

 

 

4. Chanel
In 1983 Lagerfeld was persuaded to work for another major fashion label, Chanel. He quit his work with Chloé and took over as chief designer for the brand. Lagerfeld was able to transform Chanel through experimenting with a variety of fabrics and styles while still keeping the brands iconic patterns and motifs.

He also helped to create Chanel‘s widely popular fragrance line, once again proving he was the master of innovation and reinvention. His creative prowess ushered the fashion house into an era of unprecedented success, making it the most profitable french brand of the mid 90’s.

 

 

5. His collaborations
Since then, Lagerfeld has continued as creative head of Chanel, releasing new fragrances and collections while also collaborating with brands Diesel and H&M. His denim collection with Diesel in 2002 almost sold out within a week in NY stores, and his ready-to-wear collections for H&M completely sold out in 2004. Two years later Lagerfeld designed and released a men and women’s collection under his own name, K Karl Lagerfeld.

 

 

6. His passion for photography
Lagerfeld’s love of photography has been an important factor in his career. This passion allowed him to shoot models and celebrities for magazines like Vogue, V Magazine, and Harper’s Bazaar, mostly for ad campaigns with brands he currently oversees. If that wasn’t enough for you, Lagerfeld also directed the 2013 film Once Upon A Time…, the story of CoCo Chanel starring Kiera Knightley as the leading lady.

 

 

Karl Lagerfeld continues to push forward the industry and his brands even at the age of 81, making him easily one of the hardest working creative directors the industry has ever seen. From his iconic look to his ability to reinvent himself and the fashion houses he oversees, combined with his creative genius, Lagerfeld has earned a place in fashion royalty and the title of King Karl. We think it is well deserved.

 

 

 

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About The Author

Riccardo Tucci
Web Editor-in-Chief & Journalist

Riccardo is a writer, editor, and part time philosopher. His interests include fashion and technology as well as the fine arts. His thirst for knowledge pushes him to explore fresh ideas, visit new places, and meet interesting people.

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