Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld

Creative Director, Chanel, Fendi & Karl Lagerfeld

He is one of the industry’s truly iconic designers, at the helm of two global brands that he helped revitalise, as well as his epomymous brand.

Germany Designers 2013 BoF 500 2013

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He is one of the industry’s truly iconic designers, at the helm of two global brands that he helped revitalise, as well as his epomymous brand.

Karl Lagerfeld's live mosaic

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      • 31 October, 14:08
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      • 29 October, 10:56
      • 28 October, 16:58
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      • 27 October, 15:00
      • 24 October, 12:30
      • 23 October, 11:33
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Biography

Karl Lagerfeld is one of the fashion industry’s most decorated designers. He currently helms Chanel’s ready to wear and couture lines and designs for his own label, in addition to collaborating with Sylvia Fendi to create Fendi’s ready-to-wear collections. Renowned for his renaissance-like intelligence, Lagerfeld’s voracious intellect informs his dry, sporadically controversial wit, and imbues his aesthetic with culture and historical reference points. The designer is an impressive linguist as well. “He speaks German, English, French, Spanish," calculated Hilary Alexander of the Daily Telegraph, "and for all I know, Russian and Mandarin." 

The son of a wealthy Hamburg businessman, Lagerfeld was born in Germany. His date of birth is shrouded in mystery; the designer has claimed that no one knows his true birth date. Initially educated at St Anne’s school, following his family’s emigration to France Lagerfeld finished his education at Lycée Montaigne, focusing on drawing and history.

Lagerfeld was hired as Pierre Balmain's assistant after winning the coats category in a design competition sponsored by the International Wool Secretariat in 1955. In 1958, after three years at Balmain, he moved to Jean Patou where was involved in the design of ten haute couture collections. Following a brief stint at Tiziano, a couture house based in Rome, Lagerfeld began to freelance for French fashion house Chloé in 1964. At first Lagerfeld designed a few pieces each season, but soon enough, he was designing the entire collection. In 1970, he began a short design collaboration with Curiel, following which he began his collaboration with Fendi.

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