While Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel is synonymous with her eponymous fashion brand, it was Karl Lagerfeld who crafted its iconic image when he took over as creative director in 1983. Lagerfeld’s influence on fashion was so powerful that anything could be considered “Karl Lagerfeld inspired,” according to fashion historian Doris Domoszlai-Lantner. However, Lagerfeld was a polarizing figure who stirred controversy for fat-shaming Adele, promoting the fur industry, and clashing with Angela Merkel. So, what should you know about this designer?
Karl Lagerfeld: Who Was He?
Karl Lagerfeld was born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1933 and showed an early aptitude for fashion design, winning a prestigious competition in 1954 that launched his career. He caught the eye of designer Pierre Balmain, who produced Lagerfeld’s winning design and hired him as an assistant in 1955. Lagerfeld went on to work with numerous luxury brands, including Balmain, Chloé, and Fendi, where he served as creative director until his passing. However, he is perhaps best known for his acclaimed work at Chanel.
Fashion With A Lasting Impact
Lagerfeld revitalized Chanel by modernizing the brand, making the double-C logo more prominent, and expanding the accessory offerings. He mixed pop culture with Chanel’s classic styles, transforming the traditional tweed suit into something new with bold jewelry and unconventional elements. Lagerfeld was constantly pushing boundaries and creating fashion that resonated with consumers. Despite being warned not to touch the brand, Lagerfeld’s determination paid off, modernizing it for a new generation.
- Despite the need for plus-size models, he fat-shamed Adele.
- Angela Merkel’s decision to open the borders to asylum seekers prompted him to speak out.
- As far as the #MeToo Movement was concerned, he was “fed up.”
- During his speech, he defended the fur industry
- It was against gay marriage and same-sex adoption that he spoke out
Although Lagerfeld is no longer here to explain or apologize for his comments, he once described himself as a “caricature” and compared his persona to a constant “mask” he wears. Lagerfeld stated, “For me, the Carnival of Venice lasts all year long.”