Karl Lagerfeld: Remembering The Legendary Fashion Designer

There are trends that come down the runway, catch your attention, and make a statement as the epitome of elegance — all quintessential Chanel.

However, the brand just hit us all with some unfortunate news. Karl Lagerfeld, the Creative Director for the CHANEL Fashion House and Fendi, has passed away at the age of 85 in Paris. The company released a statement on their Instagram:

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It is with deep sadness that the House of CHANEL announces the passing of Karl Lagerfeld, the Creative Director for the CHANEL Fashion House since 1983. An extraordinary creative individual, Karl Lagerfeld reinvented the brand’s codes created by Gabrielle Chanel: the CHANEL jacket and suit, the little black dress, the precious tweeds, the two-tone shoes, the quilted handbags, the pearls and costume jewelry. Regarding Gabrielle Chanel, he said, “My job is not to do what she did, but what she would have done. The good thing about Chanel is it is an idea you can adapt to many things.” A prolific creative mind with endless imagination, Karl Lagerfeld explored many artistic horizons, including photography and short films. The House of CHANEL benefited from his talent for all the branding campaigns related to Fashion since 1987. Finally, one cannot refer to Karl Lagerfeld without mentioning his innate sense of repartee and self-mockery. Alain Wertheimer, CEO of CHANEL, said: “Thanks to his creative genius, generosity and exceptional intuition, Karl Lagerfeld was ahead of his time, which widely contributed to the House of CHANEL’s success throughout the world. Today, not only have I lost a friend, but we have all lost an extraordinary creative mind to whom I gave carte blanche in the early 1980s to reinvent the brand.” Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Fashion at CHANEL, said: “Fashion show after fashion show, collection after collection, Karl Lagerfeld left his mark on the legend of Gabrielle Chanel and the history of the House of CHANEL. He steadfastly promoted the talent and expertise of CHANEL’s ateliers and Métiers d’Art, allowing this exceptional know-how to shine throughout the world. The greatest tribute we can pay today is to continue to follow the path he traced by – to quote Karl – ‘continuing to embrace the present and invent the future’.” Virginie Viard, Director of CHANEL’s Fashion Creation Studio and Karl Lagerfeld’s closest collaborator for more than 30 years, has been entrusted by Alain Wertheimer with the creative work for the collections, so that the legacy of Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld can live on.

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The prolific designer brought an uncompromisingly vision of Chanel into a new age and managed to pull off yet another feat of excellence with every show. The brand also announced that Virginie Viard would serve as Chanel’s new creative director.

Karl Lagerfeld and his cat Choupette

In tribute to his larger-than-life legacy, we’ve compiled some of our favourite full-blown fashion moments from the fearless demigod; theatrical masterpieces that simply can’t be ignored. Rest in peace, Karl Lagerfeld.



Serving up iconic tweed jackets to exquisite haute couture gowns (jewel-encrusted swimming caps are the new theme du jour), the house created influential looks that have become the fashion girl’s bread and butter.



From a pearl-embellished merry-go-round to turning the Grand Palais into one giant Chanel supermarket, Chanel has successfully transformed its catwalk stages into part runway and part art installation.



Alongside Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld pushed the boundaries for Fendi as well; from bringing the runway set down to the Great Wall of China and even the Trevi Fountain.

Photo credits:
Getty Images