Start News Karl Lagerfeld is dead

Karl Lagerfeld is dead

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The fashion and art world has lost one of its greatest: Karl Lagerfeld is dead. The all-round talent, which was closely associated with the fashion house Chanel, set signs and trends in many branches of art. Lagerfeld was a man who – not least at his own

On Tuesday he died according to French media reports in a hospital in Neuilly -sur-Seine near Paris. Later, the fashion house Chanel in Lagerfeld’s native city of Hamburg confirmed the reports.

Throughout his life, Lagerfeld had made his year of birth a mystery. Thus he justified among other things his reputation as a vain person. It was „no shame to be vain,“ he said. His life consisted of the search for beauty, he worked in addition to fashion creation as a photographer, designed interiors and porcelain, brought out perfumes and books. Lagerfeld worked 20 hours a day and liked to record – a workaholic with a thousand talents and boredom as his greatest enemy.

Lagerfeld came from a Hamburg industrial family, the house produced canned milk with the name Glücksklee. As a year of birth gave Lagerfeld repeatedly in 1938, later also in 1935. Various German media researched in Hamburg, that should rather vote in 1933. For example, the baptismal register was discovered, which named September 10, 1933 as its birthday.

Groundbreaking change to Chanel

Already as a teenager, the mother sent him to Paris, where in 1954 he won the first prize of the International Wool Secretariat for the design of a coat model. After a tailoring apprenticeship with Pierre Balmain he took over the artistic direction of the haute couture house Patou. In 1963 he became artistic director of fashion house Chloe and 20 years later made the leap to the luxury brand Chanel, which was far less successful at the time. He had „woken the dead,“ said Lagerfeld to the then state of the fashion house. With a mixture of tradition and trend, he brought the house back on the road to success. At the end of the 80s he discovered models like Claudia Schiffer for Chanel and triggered a hype about model icons that continues to this day.

Lagerfeld worked for countless brands and also for the mass market. After designing a collection for the Quelle catalog in 1996, a line followed in 2004 for the Swedish fashion chain H & M, where his creations were sold out in two days. Many catwalk shows became a triumph, such as his Defilee 2017 at the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, which was celebrated as the return of a son of the city.

Own picture

Lagerfeld has been a bustling photographer since 1987. According to one of the many legends about the fashion czar, photographing was the result of a quarrel with the photo chief of Chanel. He told him: „If you are so difficult, then do it yourself!“ This led to a great work in fashion and architecture photography with exhibitions all over the world.

Lagerfeld also worked inexhaustibly on his own image. Trademarks were his black sunglasses and white-powdered braid. Later, fathers‘ collars, driver’s gloves and compartments were added – to ward off paparazzi. He made no secret of his caprices, he celebrated them and fed his own myth. The fashion journalists gratefully accepted his anecdotes, saying that he always bought his shoes too small or threw away his laundry after first use.

Debate about „big moms“

He did not go into the sun for decades, he did not want to look like „an old turtle“. Like also stories were spread over Lagerfeld’s cat Choupette, which had its own Facebook and Twitter accounts. The cat always traveled around Lagerfeld’s side, „she loves Rome and New York,“ says the designer. Lagerfeld had her campaign for Opel and Japanese beauty products. In 2013, an accessory collection named after Choupette came onto the market.

Lagerfeld’s own iron discipline was also peculiar, for example when he mercilessly starved down more than 40 kilograms in 2001 – according to his own statements for fashion reasons. Hence the criticism that Lagerfeld kept attracting. Because the designer relied on „skinny models“.

He also spoke out against a catwalk ban on too thin models. „Fat moms sit there with the chip bag in front of the TV and say that thin models are ugly,“ he quoted the news magazine „Focus“ in 2009. Nobody wants to see women round, says Lagerfeld.

One of the richest Germans

Lagerfeld accumulated a large fortune with his works, which were much appreciated and sold internationally. He was one of the 500 richest Germans with an estimated private assets of about 350 million euros. He maintained apartments and houses in Paris, Monte Carlo, Biarritz, Rome, Vermont and New York. Since the death of his AIDS-afflicted partner Jacques de Bascher in 1989, Lagerfeld preferred to live alone.

„King Karl,“ as fans called him, had recently caused a stir with headlines about his health. For the first time in his time as Chanel creative director, he did not perform at the end of the fashion show of his house – out of exhaustion, as it was said. Lagerfeld always blamed his worldwide success on his own harshness: „I’ve probably become what I am today through work and ruthless iron determination,“ said Lagerfeld in Focus 2013. For the all too human Lagerfeld could rarely warm up: „Between me and the rest of the world is a glass wall,“ he told the ARD.