Fashion Icon Karl Lagerfeld Dead at 85
No cause of death for the creative director of Chanel, Fendi and Karl Lagerfeld has been revealed. In the weeks leading up to his death, however, he was said to be in failing health. On Jan. 22, Lagerfeld missed Chanel's spring 2019 show in Paris, sparking rumors about his health.
In addition to his accomplishments as a designer, Lagerfeld, 85, was regarded as a photographer and director. His photography appeared in many respected magazines and ad campaigns. Lagerfeld was also an author, releasing a weight loss book called The Karl Lagerfeld Diet in 2005.
He was born in Germany to mother Elisabeth Bahlmann and father Otto Lagerfeld. As a young adult, he emigrated to France where he studied at and graduated from Lycee Montaigne. Lagerfeld's field of focus was drawing and history. His first industry job was working under Pierre Balmain in 1955. He worked there for three years before going to work for Maison Jean Patou, and then Tiziano, Chloe, and eventually Fendi.
Lagerfeld worked for Fendi for more than 50 years. In 1983, he took control of Chanel. He is perhaps best known for his work with that particular fashion house. Lagerfeld once told The New Yorker he only accepted the job at Chanel because he was told it was a bad idea.
"Everyone said, 'Don't touch it, it's dead, it will never come back.' But by then I thought it was a challenge," he said at the time.
In 1984, Lagerfeld started his own brand, named after himself. He was one of the first high fashion designers to explore fast fashion, collaborating with brands like H&M.
Lagerfeld is said to have been working on designs up until the very end of his life.