Karl Lagerfeld, the fashion icon and creative director of Chanel and Fendi has passed away at the age of 85. The exact cause of death is unknown.
Lagerfeld took over the reins of Chanel back in 1983, reviving the brand among young women and leading it ever since. The outspoken designer was one of fashion’s most recognizable figures with his signature black and white clothing, ponytail and dark glasses.
Celebrities, fellow fashion designers and Chanel have shared their sadness over the news.
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.
A post shared by CHANEL (@chanelofficial) on Feb 19, 2019 at 5:59am PST
Karl your genius touched the lives of so many, especially Gianni and I. We will never forget your incredible talent and endless inspiration. We were always learning from you.
A post shared by Donatella Versace (@donatella_versace) on Feb 19, 2019 at 3:51am PST
Karl .. too many memories to write … , I THANK YOU , THANK YOU, THANK YOU !!! For taking the chance on 16 year old girl from South London and opening my eyes . May you Rest with Highest 💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔🙏🏾@karllagerfeld @chanelofficial @fendi @chloe
A post shared by Naomi Campbell (@naomi) on Feb 19, 2019 at 7:04am PST
@karllagerfeld your incredible talent and joie de vivre will be missed by all of us who love fashion and you 💔
A post shared by Cindy Crawford (@cindycrawford) on Feb 19, 2019 at 7:47am PST
So incredibly sad to hear this. Karl was a genius and always so kind and generous to me both personally and professionally. RIP 💔x vb
A post shared by Victoria Beckham (@victoriabeckham) on Feb 19, 2019 at 4:04am PST