Karl Otto Lagerfeld (German pronunciation: [kaʁl ˈʔɔtoː ˈlaːɡɐˌfɛlt] ; 10 September 1933 – 19 February 2019) was a German fashion designer.

Karl Lagerfeld
Karl Lagerfeld, who is an older man, wearing a black formal jacket, black gloves, a black tie, and black sunglasses, standing near a Fendi store.
Lagerfeld at the opening of a Fendi store in 2014
Karl Otto Lagerfeldt[1]

(1933-09-10)10 September 1933
Hamburg, Germany
Died19 February 2019(2019-02-19) (aged 85)
EducationLycée Montaigne, Paris
Other labels
PartnerJacques de Bascher (1971–1989, his death)

Lagerfeld began his career in fashion in the 1950s, working for several top fashion houses including Balmain, Patou, and Chloé before joining Chanel in 1983. As the creative director of Chanel from 1983 until his death, he oversaw every aspect of the fashion house's creative output, from designing collections to overseeing advertising campaigns and in store displays. He was instrumental in revitalizing the Chanel brand, helping it regain its position as one of the top fashion houses in the world. He was also creative director of the Italian fur and leather goods fashion house Fendi, as well as his own eponymous fashion label. Throughout his career, he collaborated on a variety of fashion and art-related projects.

Lagerfeld was recognized for his signature white hair, black sunglasses, fingerless gloves, and high-starched detachable collars.

Early life


Karl Otto Lagerfeldt[1] was born in Hamburg on 10 September 1933 to Elisabeth (née Bahlmann) and Otto Lagerfeldt. His father, coming from a family of wealthy wine-merchants, was a prosperous businessman and polyglot, speaking nine languages;[7][8] his father owned an import company (Lagerfeldt & Co.) specialising in evaporated milk, leading him to work with the American dairy company Carnation. During his travels, his father was present during the great 1906 San Francisco earthquake, escaping unharmed.[9] A fluent speaker of Russian, his father had even attempted to gain citizenship into the country at the start of World War I, leading to an accusation of espionage and a three-year prison term in Vladivostok, eventually returning to Germany after the Russian Revolution in 1917. His maternal grandfather, Karl Bahlmann, was a local politician for the Catholic Centre Party.[8] His family belonged to the Old Catholic Church. When Lagerfeld's mother met his father, she was a lingerie saleswoman from Berlin. His parents married in 1930.[10]

Lagerfeld was known to misrepresent his birth year, claiming to be younger than his actual age and misrepresenting his parents' background. For example, he claimed that he was born in 1938 to "Elisabeth of Germany" and Otto Ludwig Lagerfeldt from Sweden.[11] These claims have been conclusively proven to be false, as his father was from Hamburg and spent his entire life in Germany, with no Swedish connection.[8][10] There is also no evidence his mother, Elisabeth Bahlmann, the daughter of a middle-class local politician, called herself "Elisabeth of Germany".[10] He was known to insist that no one knew his real birthdate. In an interview on French television in February 2009, Lagerfeld said he was "born neither in 1933 nor 1938".[12]

In April 2013, he finally declared he was born in 1935.[13] A birth announcement was, however, published by his parents in 1933, and the baptismal register in Hamburg also lists him as born in that year, showing he was born on 10 September 1933.[14] Bild am Sonntag published his baptismal records in 2008 and interviewed his teacher and a classmate, who both confirmed he actually was born in 1933. Later, his death record confirmed the same.[15] Despite that, Karl Lagerfeld announced publicly he was celebrating his "70th birthday" on 10 September 2008, despite actually turning 75.[16][17][18]

His older sister, Martha Christiane "Christel", was born in 1931. Lagerfeld had an older half-sister, Theodora Dorothea "Thea", from his father's first marriage. His family name has been spelled both Lagerfeldt (with a "t") and Lagerfeld. Like his father, he used the spelling Lagerfeld, considering it to "sound more commercial".[19]

His family was mainly shielded from the deprivations of World War II due to his father being a member of the Nazi party and his business interests in Germany through the firm Glücksklee-Milch GmbH.[20][21]

As a child, he showed great interest in the visual arts, and former schoolmates recalled he was always making sketches "no matter what we were doing in class".[22] Lagerfeld told interviewers he learned much more by constantly visiting the Kunsthalle Hamburg museum than he ever did in school.[23][24]



Early career, Chloé, and Fendi (1954–1982)


In 1954, Lagerfeld submitted a dress design to the International Wool Secretariat's design competition.[25] His submitted entry presaged the chemise dresses which would be introduced by Givenchy and Balenciaga three years later.[25] In 1955, Lagerfeld entered another IWS competition and won in the coat category.[26] He also befriended another winner, Yves Saint Laurent, and was soon after hired by Pierre Balmain who was a judge for the competition.[27] He worked as Balmain's assistant, and later apprentice, for three years.[27]

In 1957, Lagerfeld became the artistic director for Jean Patou.[28] He left Jean Patou in 1962, to become a freelance designer,[29] one of the first designers to do so.[30] In the 1960s, he freelanced for brands including Charles Jourdan, Chloé, Krizia, Valentino,[28] and for the Rome-based fashion house Tiziani.[31] In 1965, he was hired by Fendi to modernize their fur line. The fashion editor of The Independent, Alexander Fury, wrote in 2015 that Lagerfeld's designs for Fendi were innovative and proved groundbreaking within the industry. These included the introduction of less expensive furs such as rabbit and squirrel pelts into high fashion, and launching a ready-to-wear line. He also designed the brand's double F logo.[32] Lagerfeld remained with Fendi Rome until his death.[28]

In 1966, Lagerfeld became a designer for Chloé working alongside Gaby Aghion, and in 1974 he became the sole designer for the brand.[33] In the 1970s, Lagerfeld's work for Chloé made him one of the most prominent designers in the world,[34][35] often vying with Yves Saint Laurent for most influential.[36][37] After a period in the early seventies when he toyed with styles from the 1930s[38][39] and 1950s,[40][41] in 1974 he contributed to the burgeoning Big Look or Soft Look by eliminating linings, padding, and even hemming from voluminous, thin-fabric garments, even from fur in his work for Fendi at the time,[42] to enable an unencumbered, comfortable, layered style which would dominate the high fashion of the middle of the decade.[43][44][45]

After refining this style and saying that to go back to linings and stiff structure would be regressive,[46][47] he did a complete about-face in 1978[48][49] and joined other designers in showing the heavily constructed, huge-shouldered, more restrictive looks[50] that would dominate the 1980s.[51][52][53] He presented such an exaggerated retro 1940s-50s silhouette[54] – immense shoulder pads;[55][56] severe, stiffly constructed suits[57] with padded lampshade peplums;[58] padded busts[59] and hips;[60] impractically tight skirts;[61] awkwardly high spike heels;[62] hats;[63][64] gloves; even boned corsets[65][66] – that his work did not look out of place alongside similar retro fare from Thierry Mugler of the period.[67]

During both these phases, his mid-seventies Soft Look phase and his late seventies-eighties big-shoulders phase, his love of the eighteenth century was frequently on display.[68][69][70] For instance, his Fall 1977 collection, one of the most celebrated of the seventies Soft Look era, included lace trim, headwear, and thigh-high boots in styles from the 1700s,[71][72][73] while his Fall 1979 collection, one of the most influential of the early years of the big-shoulder era,[74] contained millinery that recalled Napoleonic bicornes, along with button-sided spats/leggings that looked somewhat like military accoutrements from the same period.[75]

Lagerfeld continued producing outfits in the shoulder pads-tight skirts-stiletto heels direction into the eighties, joining other similar designers in shortening the skirts of the look even as high as mini length,[76] though his hemlines could also range as low as the ankle.[77] Alongside these styles, he also showed softer, more comfortable clothing, particularly in 1981-'82, when a brief revival of somewhat mid-seventies-looking long dirndl skirts and shawls appeared on runways[78][79] and Lagerfeld touted the gossamer weightlessness he had perfected in the seventies,[80] although he did like to place corsets and girdles over it by that time.[81][82][83] The variety of lengths and trouser shapes he presented during this period kept him in line with modern women's needs.[84][85]

International fame with Chanel (1982–2000)

Lagerfeld is credited with making great use of Chanel's "CC" logo during the 1980s.[86]

In the 1980s, Lagerfeld was hired by Chanel, which was considered a "near-dead brand" at the time since the death of designer Coco Chanel a decade prior. Taking over the couture there in 1983, Lagerfeld brought life back into the company, making it a huge success[87] by revamping its ready-to-wear fashion line.[4][27] Lagerfeld integrated the interlocked CC monogram of Coco Chanel into a style pattern for the House of Chanel.[86][88]

Lagerfeld also changed the Chanel silhouette[89] that had prevailed since the early 1960s, making it more eighties by padding the shoulder,[90] shortening and tightening the skirt,[91][92][93][94] raising the heel,[95][96][97] and enlarging or miniaturizing the jewelry and purses,[98][99][100][101] all controversial moves,[102][103][104] especially the short skirts,[105] as Mlle. Chanel had always disapproved of above-the-knee skirts.[106] This new direction was actually initiated the year before Lagerfeld took the helm, 1982, when a design team led by Hervé Léger, a Lagerfeld protegé, operated at the house. Lagerfeld is suspected of having influenced Léger's changes.[107][108][109]

In 1984, a year after his start at Chanel, Lagerfeld began his own eponymous "Karl Lagerfeld" brand with a focus on ready-to-wear clothing.[29] The brand was established to channel "intellectual sexiness".[4] Lagerfeld had signed an agreement with Bidermann Industries USA, giving them ownership and licensing rights to fashion labels he produced.[110] Lagerfeld ended the agreement with Bidermann in 1989.[111] That same year, Lagerfeld launched two Karl Lagerfeld brand menswear lines.[112] The Lagerfeld label was then purchased by the Cora Revillon Group,[113] which had previously reached an agreement to manufacture and market Karl Lagerfeld-branded products.[114]

In 1992, Dunhill Holdings—part of the Vendôme Luxury Group—acquired the Karl Lagerfeld brand from Cora-Revillon for an estimated $30 million.[115][111] The acquisition was part of the agreement the company made with Lagerfeld for him to return to designing for the fashion house Chloé.[111] Vendôme retained ownership of the brand for five years, until 1997, when it sold the brand back to Lagerfeld for a "symbolic one franc", following the end of his contract with Chloé.[116] Lagerfeld stated that Vendôme “had not hired the right people to manage it."[116]

Lagerfeld flourished in the plethora of historical revivals of the eighties, from the shoulder-padded 1940s-50s revivals beginning in 1978 and continuing through the eighties, to the 1950s pouf skirts, 1860s crinolines, and hoops of the mid-eighties, now often showgirl-short.[117] Lagerfeld participated in it all, for both his namesake line and Chanel. In 1986, he marked the move away from broad shoulders by removing pads from the shoulders and placing them visibly on the outside of the hips.[118][119]

Later career (2001–2019)




In 2002, Lagerfeld asked Renzo Rosso, the founder of Diesel, to collaborate with him on a special denim collection for the Lagerfeld Gallery.[120] The collection, Lagerfeld Gallery by Diesel, was co-designed by Lagerfeld and then developed by Diesel's creative team, under the supervision of Rosso. It consisted of five pieces that were presented during the designer's catwalk shows during Paris Fashion Week[121] and then sold in highly limited editions at the Lagerfeld Galleries in Paris and Monaco and at the Diesel Denim Galleries in New York and Tokyo. During the first week of sales in New York, more than 90% of the trousers were sold out, even though prices ranged from $240 to $1,840.[122] In a statement after the show in Paris, Rosso said: "I am honored to have met this fashion icon of our time. Karl represents creativity, tradition and challenge, and the fact that he thought of Diesel for this collaboration is a great gift and acknowledgement of our reputation as the prêt-à-porter of casual wear".[121]

Lagerfeld at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival

In December 2006, Lagerfeld announced the launch of a new collection for men and women dubbed K Karl Lagerfeld, which included fitted T-shirts and a wide range of jeans.[123] In September 2010, the Couture Council of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology presented Lagerfeld with an award created for him, The Couture Council Fashion Visionary Award, at a benefit luncheon at Avery Fisher Hall, in New York City.[124] In November 2010, Lagerfeld and Swedish crystal manufacturer Orrefors announced a collaboration to design a crystal art collection.[125] The first collection was launched in spring 2011, called Orrefors by Karl Lagerfeld.[126]

In 2012 Lagerfeld released his photo-book The Little Black Jacket which featured entertainers, models, and friends of his.[127] In 2014, Palm Beach Modern Auctions announced that many of Lagerfeld's early sketches for the House of Tiziani in Rome would be sold.[128][129]

Because his designs changed depending on which fashion house he was working for, designers such as Anna Sui and Clare Waight Keller praised his "chameleon-like versatility".[130][131] In November 2015, Karl Lagerfeld was presented with the Outstanding Achievement Award at the British Fashion Awards. Anna Wintour, Editor in Chief of American Vogue, presented the award.[132]

Final collection


The final Chanel collection completed before his death had an Alpine theme of après-ski clothing. As Lagerfeld requested not to have any type of funeral, the show only included a moment of silence in his honor and chairs emblazoned with his image next to Coco Chanel with the saying "the beat goes on".[133] Although Lagerfeld shunned any emotional reactions around the idea of his death, some models could be seen crying on the runway, as well as audience members.[134]

Other media


Lagerfeld and investments enterprise Dubai Infinity Holdings (DIH) signed a deal to design limited edition homes on the island of Isla Moda.[135][136] A feature-length documentary film on the designer, Lagerfeld Confidential, was made by Rodolphe Marconi in 2007.[137] Later that year, Lagerfeld assumed the role of the host of the fictional radio station K109 in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV and its DLCs The Lost & Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony.[138]

In 2008, he created a teddy bear in his likeness that was produced by Steiff in an edition of 2,500 that sold for $1,500.[139] and has been immortalized in many forms, which include pins, shirts, dolls, and more. In 2009, Tra Tutti began selling Karl Lagermouse and Karl Lagerfelt, which are mini-Lagerfelds in the forms of mice and finger puppets, respectively.[140] That same year, he had a guest voice role in the French animated film Totally Spies! The Movie.[141]

Later in life, Lagerfeld realized one of his boyhood ambitions by becoming a professional caricaturist; from 2013, his political cartoons were regularly published in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.[142][143]

Lagerfeld with Hermann Bühlbecker, Prince Albert II and Charlene, Princess of Monaco (2011)

In 2013, he directed Once Upon a Time..., a short film starring Keira Knightley as Coco Chanel and Clotilde Hesme as her aunt, Adrienne.[144] In June 2016, it was announced that Lagerfeld would design the two residential lobbies of the Estates at Acqualina, a residential development in Miami's Sunny Isles Beach.[145]

In October 2018, Lagerfeld in collaboration with Carpenters Workshop Gallery launched an art collection of functional sculptures titled Architectures. Sculptures were made of Arabescato Fantastico, a rare vibrant white marble with dark gray veins and black Nero Marquina marble with milky veins. Inspired by antiquity and referred to as modern mythology the ensemble consists of gueridons, tables, lamps, consoles, fountains and mirrors.[146]

Personal life


Lagerfeld was recognized for his signature white hair, black sunglasses, fingerless gloves, and high, starched detachable collars.[147]

He had an 18-year relationship with French aristocrat and socialite Jacques de Bascher (1951–1989), though Lagerfeld said that the relationship never was sexual.[148] "I infinitely loved that boy", Lagerfeld reportedly said of de Bascher, "but I had no physical contact with him. Of course, I was seduced by his physical charm".[149] De Bascher had an affair with the couturier Yves Saint Laurent; subsequently, Saint Laurent's business partner and former lover Pierre Bergé accused Lagerfeld of being behind a gambit to destabilize the rival fashion house.[149] De Bascher died of AIDS in 1989 while Lagerfeld stayed on a cot at his bedside in his hospital room during the final stages of his illness. After Lagerfeld's death, tabloids reported that he was to be cremated and his ashes mixed with those of de Bascher, which Lagerfeld kept in an urn, or with those of his mother.[150][151]

Lagerfeld lived in numerous homes over the years: an apartment in the Rue de l'Université in Paris, decorated in the Art Deco style (1970s); the 18th-century Chateau de Penhoët in Brittany, decorated in the Rococo style (1970s to 2000); an apartment in Monte Carlo decorated until 2000 in 1980s Memphis style (from the early 1980s); the Villa Jako in Blankenese in Hamburg, decorated in the Art Deco style (mid-1990s to 2000); the Villa La Vigie in France (the 1990s to 2000), a 17th-century mansion (hôtel particulier) in the Rue de l'Université in Paris, decorated in the Rococo and other styles (1980s to the 2000s); an apartment in Manhattan, although he never moved into or decorated it (2006 to 2012); the summer villa El Horria in Biarritz, decorated in the modern style (1990s–2006); and a house dating from the 1840s in Vermont (from the 2000s). From 2007, Lagerfeld owned an 1820s house in Paris in Quai Voltaire decorated in modern and Art Deco style.[152]

A spread with pictures inside Lagerfeld's apartments in Paris and Monaco was published in Vogue.[153] He also revealed his vast collection of Suzanne Belperron's pins and brooches and used the color of one of her blue chalcedony rings as the starting point for the Chanel spring/summer 2012 collection.[154]

Lagerfeld owned a red point Birman cat named Choupette, which, in June 2013, he indicated he would marry, if it were legal.[155] According to reports, the designer included the feline in his will from 2015, and designated 1.5 million dollars for its care and maintenance.[156]

Weight loss


Lagerfeld lost 42 kg (93 lb) in 2001.[157] He explained: "I suddenly wanted to dress differently, to wear clothes designed by Hedi Slimane... But these fashions, modeled by very, very slim boys—and not men my age—required me to lose at least 40 kg. It took me exactly 13 months". The diet was created specially for him by Dr. Jean-Claude Houdret, which led to a book called The Karl Lagerfeld Diet. He promoted it on Larry King Live and other television shows.[19]

Book collecting


Lagerfeld was a passionate book collector and amassed one of the largest personal libraries in the world. According to the Rare Book Hub, he was quoted as saying: "Today, I only collect books; there is no room left for something else. If you go to my house, I'll have you walk around the books. I ended up with a library of 300,000. It's a lot for an individual".[158]



Lagerfeld took up photography in 1987[159] after being frustrated with images done for Chanel press kits. Chanel's then-image director, Éric Pfrunder, encouraged Lagerfeld to redo them himself,[160] and photography became one of the passions of Lagerfeld's life outside of design.[161] He went on to shoot commercial fashion campaigns,[159] editorial shots for magazines like Harper's Bazaar,[162] as well as architectural and landscape work.[163] "I’m an illustrator with a camera", Lagerfeld told Women's Wear Daily at a 2010 exhibition of his work at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie.[164]

Death, tributes, and retrospectives


After health complications in January 2019, Lagerfeld was admitted to the American Hospital of Paris in Parisian suburb Neuilly-sur-Seine on 18 February. He died there the following morning from complications of prostate cancer.[165][166] He requested no formal funeral with plans for cremation and ashes spread at secret locations alongside his mother as well as his late partner, Jacques de Bascher.[167][168]

Lagerfeld was memorialized on 20 June 2019 at the Grand Palais with "Karl For Ever", a celebration of the designer's life, which featured a career retrospective highlighting his tenures at Chloé, Fendi, and Chanel.[169][170] The 90-minute tribute was attended by 2,500 guests. Nearly 60 gigantic portraits were on view within the pavilion, which has hosted many Chanel runway collections.[171] The ceremony also included readings and musical performances by Tilda Swinton, Cara Delevingne, Helen Mirren, Pharrell Williams, and Lang Lang. The production was staged by theater and opera director Robert Carsen.[172][173][174][175][176][177][178]

After the memorial, the house of Karl Lagerfeld announced in July 2019 the development of the "White Shirt Project".[179] In homage to its eponymous founder, the collaboration celebrated the late designer's legacy with a collection of reimagined, iconic white shirts.[180][181]

Lagerfeld once said: "If you ask me what I'd most like to have invented in fashion, I'd say the white shirt. For me, the white shirt is the basis of everything. Everything else comes after".[182][183][184]

The global project, which was curated by style adviser Carine Roitfeld, features designs from Cara Delevingne, Kate Moss, Tommy Hilfiger, Diane Kruger, Takashi Murakami, Amber Valletta, and[182][185] British street artist, Endless, amongst others.[186]

Seven was Lagerfeld's favorite number; as such, seven of the final designs were replicated 77 times and sold for €777 each beginning on 26 September 2019. All proceeds benefitted the French charity Sauver La Vie, which funds medical research at the Paris Descartes University.[181][187][188]

In February 2020, Eden Gallery honored Lagerfeld with an exhibition that featured sculptures and paintings inspired by his work.[189]

The Metropolitan Museum of Art honored the designer with a retrospective of his work with Balmain, Patou, Chloe, Fendi, Chanel, and his eponymous line. The posthumous exhibition, Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty, which was held from 5 May through 13 July, spanned Lagerfeld's six-decade career and included more than 150 objects.[190]

Chanel provided support for the exhibition and the accompanying 2023 Met Gala. The 2023 fête was co-chaired by Michaela Coel, Penélope Cruz, Roger Federer, Dua Lipa, and Condé Nast Global Chief Content Officer, Anna Wintour.[191][192] Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando designed the exhibit.[193] Curator Andrew Bolton expounded on the exhibition's inspiration in the April 2023 issue of Architectural Digest. He noted that the tribute would focus largely on Lagerfeld's design process, specifically his sketches. Named for English painter William Hogarth's concept of the line of beauty, the retrospective showcased both the literal lines of Lagerfeld's drawings as well as the sartorial lines or silhouettes of his works.[194]



There was much controversy from Lagerfeld's use of a verse from the Quran in his spring 1994 couture collection for Chanel, despite apologies from the designer and the fashion house. The controversy erupted after the 1994 couture show in Paris when the Indonesian Muslim Scholars Council in Jakarta called for a boycott of Chanel and threatened to file formal protests with the government of Lagerfeld's homeland, Germany. The designer apologized, explaining that he had taken the design from a book about the Taj Mahal, thinking the words came from a love poem.[152]

Lagerfeld was a supporter of the use of fur in fashion, although he himself did not wear fur and hardly ate meat. In a BBC interview in 2009, he claimed that hunters "make a living having learnt nothing else than hunting, killing those beasts who would kill us if they could" and said: "In a meat-eating world, wearing leather for shoes and clothes and even handbags, the discussion of fur is childish". Spokespersons for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) called Lagerfeld "a fashion dinosaur who is as out of step as his furs are out of style",[195] and "particularly delusional with his kill-or-be-killed mentality. When was the last time a person's life was threatened by a mink or rabbit?"[196] In 2001, he was the target of a pieing at a fashion premiere at Lincoln Center in New York City. However, the tofu pies hurled by animal rights activists in protest against his use of fur within his collections went astray, instead hitting Calvin Klein. A PETA spokesperson described the hit on Klein as "friendly fire", calling Klein, who does not use fur, "a great friend to the animals" and Lagerfeld a "designer dinosaur", who continues to use fur in his collections.[197] In 2010, after Lagerfeld used fake fur in his 2010 Chanel collection, PETA's website claimed: "It's the triumph of fake fur ... because fake fur changed so much and became so great now that you can hardly see a difference".[198]

Lagerfeld in 2009 joined critics of supermodel Heidi Klum, following German designer Wolfgang Joop's remarks about Klum, who had posed naked on the cover of the German edition of GQ magazine. Joop described Klum as being "no runway model. She is simply too heavy and has too big a bust".[199][200] Lagerfeld commented that neither he nor Claudia Schiffer knew Klum, as she had never worked in Paris, and that she was insignificant in the world of high fashion, being "more bling bling and glamorous than current fashion".[201] He created an international furore on 9 February 2012, when he called the singer Adele "a little too fat".[202] Adele responded that she is like the majority of women, and she is very proud of that fact.[203] Lagerfeld later caused another controversy, on 31 July 2012, when he criticised Pippa Middleton, the sister of Catherine, Princess of Wales, for her looks.[204][205]

His caricature drawing Harvey Schweinstein, that shows film producer Harvey Weinstein as a pig, was criticised as antisemitic and dehumanizing.[206] He sparked controversy by criticizing German Chancellor Angela Merkel's immigration policy during the European migrant crisis by saying, "You cannot kill millions of Jews and then take in millions of their worst enemies afterwards, even if there are decades [between the events]", and by accusing her to have thereby caused the rise of the party Alternative for Germany (AfD).[207][208] In May 2018, during an interview with French newspaper Le Point, Lagerfeld mentioned that he was contemplating giving up his German citizenship due to the one million Muslim immigrants that had been accepted into Germany by Merkel, a decision to which he attributed the increase in neo-Nazism in the country.[209]

In a 2019 interview with French magazine Numéro, Lagerfeld dismissed the #MeToo movement and stated, "If you don't want your pants pulled about, don't become a model. Join a nunnery, there'll always be a place for you in the convent".[210] He also criticized newly instated regulations in photo studios and modeling agencies enacted to protect young models, stating that they were "too much" and as a designer, "you can't do anything". Lagerfeld also defended stylist Karl Templer, who was accused of sexual misconduct and stated that although he could not stand Harvey Weinstein, his distaste for him was of a professional nature.[211]

Lagerfeld said in 2007 that his controversial persona was an act.[212]

See also



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  7. ^ understitch (23 April 2023). "The Life and Death of Karl Lagerfeld". YouTube. was actually a polyglot, speaking nine different languages, including Russian, and so was a genuinely successful businessman there
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  9. ^ Horyn, Cathy (6 October 2013). "Why Fashion Films Are Usually Cartoons". The New York Times. p. 13
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  12. ^ Interview on On n'est pas couché, France2, 21 February 2009
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  14. ^ Der grosse Karl wird schon 80 Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine Die Welt, 7 July 2013 (in German)
    biography at Munzinger-Archiv (in German)
  15. ^ « born on 10 September 1933 in Hamburg (Germany) - Neuilly sur Seine City Civil Status Registry, entry No. 2019/171»
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  17. ^ „Karl Lagerfeld wohl fünf Jahre älter als angegeben" Archived 27 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine, ORF, 6 September 2008
  18. ^ FAZ Archived 1 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine, 4 September 2008
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  30. ^ Alario Avery, Laura (25 April 2023). "The Life And Times Of Karl Lagerfeld". InStyle. Retrieved 19 December 2023.
  31. ^ Lo, Danica (6 January 2014). "1960s Archive of Karl Lagerfeld Sketches for Elizabeth Taylor Will Be Auctioned in Palm Beach on January 11". Glamour. Retrieved 19 December 2023.
  32. ^ Fury, Alexander (12 May 2015). "Karl Lagerfeld's 50 years at Fendi: New book celebrates fashion's record-breaking marriage". The Independent (UK). Retrieved 19 December 2023.
  33. ^ Friedman, Vanessa (29 April 2023). "The Lagerfeld Looks That Defined a Career (and Remade Fashion)". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 August 2023.
  34. ^ Morris, Bernadine (3 April 1973). "At the Paris Shows, Lots of Smoke but Not Much Fire". The New York Times: 38. Retrieved 28 February 2022. Karl Lagerfeld...is hailed as the ready-to‐wear world's major talent...
  35. ^ Morris, Bernadine (29 March 1977). "At Lagerfeld's Paris Show, the 18th Century Goes Modern". The New York Times: 41. Retrieved 27 March 2022. ...[T]he most inventive designer in Paris...
  36. ^ Morris, Bernadine (9 May 1975). "Fashion Talk". The New York Times: 41. Retrieved 6 March 2022. ...[I]t has been interesting to notice Karl Lagerfeld replacing Yves Saint Laurent as the favorite mentor of some American designers.
  37. ^ Morris, Bernadine (28 October 1977). "Exuberance Ruled French Fashion Week". The New York Times: A18. Retrieved 27 March 2022. The most‐applauded collections...were those of the giants, Karl Lagerfeld for Chloe and Yves Saint Laurent.
  38. ^ Morris, Bernadine (3 April 1974). "At Paris Shows, the Fabric is Flowing". The New York Times: 48. Retrieved 10 February 2022. Karl Lagerfeld for Chloé['s]...long‐term obsession with the nineteen‐thirties...
  39. ^ Mulvagh, Jane (1988). "1968-1975". Vogue History of 20th Century Fashion. London, England: Viking, the Penguin Group. p. 297. ISBN 0-670-80172-0. Between 1969 and 1972 Karl Lagerfeld's work for Chloé was clearly influenced by the art deco collection he was amassing.
  40. ^ Morris, Bernadine (23 July 1971). "Valentino – Quiet but Beguiling, Tailored but Feminine". The New York Times: 38. Retrieved 22 June 2022. ...Fendi...was designed by Karl Lagerfeld...Guess what he brought back? Tiny‐waisted fur coats with flaring skirts, that's what. Also Bermuda shorts and pedal-pushers and—get this — saddle shoes.
  41. ^ Morris, Bernadine (3 April 1973). "At the Paris Shows, Lots of Smoke but Not Much Fire". The New York Times: 38. Retrieved 28 February 2022. Chloe's Karl Lagerfeld...worked himself up from the 1940's to the 1950's.
  42. ^ Mulvagh, Jane (1988). "1968-1975". Vogue History of 20th Century Fashion. London, England: Viking, the Penguin Group. p. 300. ISBN 0-670-80172-0. Lagerfeld insisted that the underside of the pelts be stripped down to the very thinnest layer needed to support the pile, and by softening and treating the underside, made it unnecessary to line the garment.
  43. ^ Morris, Bernadine (3 April 1974). "At Paris Shows, the Fabric is Flowing". The New York Times: 48. Retrieved 10 February 2022. The difference with Lagerfeld's things is that all inner construction, and practically all seams, have been eliminated, meaning no linings, no interfacing, not even any turned‐under hems—the fabric has simply been cut off at the bottom.
  44. ^ Morris, Bernadine (21 September 1976). "A Designer Gets Ahead of Himself". The New York Times: 56. Retrieved 27 March 2022. A designer's designer, he is watched carefully for his innovations, which are as technical as finding ways to avoid linings, eliminating seams whenever possible and finishing hems with overcast stitches instead of turned‐under hems. All this in the interest of keeping clothes light and fluid.
  45. ^ Hyde, Nina S. (29 March 1977). "Paris Looks: Casanova to Puss 'n' Boots". The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 February 2022. It was Lagerfeld who first took the shaping and the linings out of clothes...He also removed hemlines entirely to make clothes lighter and more easily layered.
  46. ^ Hyde, Nina S. (29 March 1977). "Paris Looks: Casanova to Puss 'n' Boots". The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 February 2022. '[Y]ou cannot go back to lined clothing, because...clothes today must be light and loose'.
  47. ^ Morris, Bernadine (21 September 1976). "A Designer Gets Ahead of Himself". The New York Times: 56. Retrieved 27 March 2022. [H]e went on. 'You can't have bones and wires...If we go back to linings, then we are returning to the way things were, not looking ahead'.
  48. ^ Morris, Bernadine (10 April 1979). "Impresarios of Fashion Preside at Les Halles". The New York Times: C12. Retrieved 15 December 2021. Until [fall 1978], [Lagerfeld] did a lot of soft, contemporary clothes. They didn't impose their shape on the wearer. He simplified construction so the fabric just seemed to flow across the body.
  49. ^ Hyde, Nina S. (10 April 1979). "Mickey and Minnie on the Paris Runway". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 April 2022. 'Women have gotten too sloppy in loose, oversized clothes. They've become too careless about themselves and they are no longer attractive,' he said...
  50. ^ Morris, Bernadine (27 February 1983). "The Directions of the Innovators". The New York Times: 132. Retrieved 4 April 2022. [Azzedine Alaïa, Claude Montana, Thierry Mugler, Jean-Paul Gaultier, i]n these designers' collections, waistlines are usually taut, heels are high,...and, while the designers generally deny it, many of the clothes are restrictive.
  51. ^ Morris, Bernadine (21 May 1979). "Karl Lagerfeld, the Designer Setting Fashion's Tempo". The New York Times: B6. Retrieved 4 April 2022. Then, abruptly, came the change to a slimmer, more fitted look...padded shoulders, belted waistlines and narrow skirts...which was immediately dubbed 'retro' and sent other designers back to the 1950's...What made him change?...'The loose, layered look simply became messy,' he said. 'Free‐flowing clothes looked sloppy'.
  52. ^ Morris, Bernadine (10 April 1979). "Impresarios of Fashion Preside at Les Halles". The New York Times: C12. Retrieved 10 February 2022. Now, [Lagerfeld is] involved in something called shape. That means sleeves that curve outward like melons; the melon shape is repeated in many skirts. Cavalier jackets have peplums that jut out sharply from tightly belted waistlines. Carry on this line of reasoning and you...also have bustles. Yes, bustles.
  53. ^ Morris, Bernadine (16 February 1979). "At Fashion Parties, a Debut for Spring". The New York Times: A24. Retrieved 4 April 2022. Some were stunned by what they saw paraded before them: the above‐the-knee hemlines, the obviously padded shoulders, even on sweaters, the draped‐to‐one-side skirts with ruffled embellishment.
  54. ^ Hyde, Nina S. (10 April 1978). "Fashion Carnival". The Washington Post. Retrieved 9 February 2024. His message is clear. He likes structured clothes with big shoulders, small waists, usually rounded a bit over the hips and tapered to the hem.
  55. ^ Hyde, Nina S. (7 April 1978). "European Fashions, Round Two". The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 March 2022. [Lagerfeld] started with football shoulder padding, since that was what he first found to use, scaling it down to wearable proportion.
  56. ^ Donovan, Carrie (12 November 1978). "Why the Big Change Now". The New York Times: 226. Retrieved 15 November 2021. ...[Karl Lagerfeld's] current fall collection is one of the most outrageous in its thrust of broad padded shoulders and aggressive sexiness.
  57. ^ Hyde, Nina S. (10 April 1979). "Mickey and Minnie on the Paris Runway". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 April 2022. ...Lagerfeld...revived...the peplum suit with the narrow skirt....Now he has taken shapeliness one step further, rounding out the sleeve. Sometimes he uses padding to get the croissant or horn-of-plenty shaping...
  58. ^ Hyde, Nina S. (5 November 1978). "Fashion Notes". The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 March 2022. Karl Lagerfeld sometimes pads the peplum to exaggerate the tiny waist and rounded hip look.
  59. ^ Morris, Bernadine (21 May 1979). "Karl Lagerfeld, the Designer Setting Fashion's Tempo". The New York Times: B6. Retrieved 4 April 2022. His widely copied 'bustier'...has a foam base...
  60. ^ Donovan, Carrie (6 May 1979). "Fashion View: American Designers Come of Age". The New York Times: 254. Retrieved 4 April 2022. It was Lagerfeld who originally introduced the current [1979] silhouette of broad shoulders, nipped waist, curvy hip and short skirt.
  61. ^ Morris, Bernadine (10 April 1979). "Impresarios of Fashion Preside at Les Halles". The New York Times: C12. Retrieved 10 February 2022. ...hobble skirts that are impossible to walk in...
  62. ^ Morris, Bernadine (10 April 1979). "Impresarios of Fashion Preside at Les Halles". The New York Times: C12. Retrieved 10 February 2022. [His models'] shoes had triangular-shaped, attenuated heels that threw their bodies out of line and made them walk with their rear ends sticking out awkwardly, not provocatively.
  63. ^ Morris, Bernadine (16 February 1979). "At Fashion Parties, a Debut for Spring". The New York Times: A24. Retrieved 4 April 2022. ...hats the size of phonograph records tilted precariously to one side...
  64. ^ Hyde, Nina S. (10 April 1979). "Mickey and Minnie on the Paris Runway". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 April 2022. Lagerfeld loves...huge face-framing, fan-shaped hats...
  65. ^ Duka, John (13 November 1978). "Paris is Yesterday". New York. 11 (46): 112. Retrieved 11 December 2021. Lagerfeld...has brought back the Merry Widow corselet, whalebone stays and all.
  66. ^ Hyde, Nina S. (25 October 1978). "Hourglass for Spring". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 April 2022. ...Karl Lagerfeld's strapless tops were boned and lined with fiberfill.
  67. ^ Donovan, Carrie (6 May 1979). "Fashion View: American Designers Come of Age". The New York Times: 254. Retrieved 4 April 2022. There has been a significant change in the fashion silhouette, one that started in an exaggerated way last fall when shoulders buffaloed out, skirt lengths went up, and clothes began pulling in to the body...even more exaggerated...in the cases of Parisian designers Karl Lagerfeld, Claude Montana and Thierry Mugler...
  68. ^ Morris, Bernadine (21 May 1979). "Karl Lagerfeld, the Designer Setting Fashion's Tempo". The New York Times: B6. Retrieved 4 April 2022. Lagerfeld...has had an almost lifelong preoccupation with...the 18th century
  69. ^ Russell, Mary (2 April 1978). "Fall Fashion Preview". The New York Times: SM19. Retrieved 4 April 2022. Karl Lagerfeld for Chloë is enamored of 18th‐century glamour...
  70. ^ Finley, Ruth, ed. (1 November 1974). "Paris Projects Full & Floating or Slim & Languid in Ready-to-Wear". Fashion International. III (2). New York, NY, USA: FI Publications, Inc.: 1. ...18th Century shepherdess dresses (Chloe)...
  71. ^ Peake, Andy (2018). "The New Ease in Fashion". Made for Walking. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Fashion Press. p. 117. ISBN 978-0-7643-5499-1. Lagerfeld...decided to produce a collection based on...eighteenth-century costumes...So we have broad-brimmed Cavalier hats, capes, velvet and satin breeches, lace-trimmed blouses, and lots of swaggering over-the-knee boots.
  72. ^ Morris, Bernadine (1 October 1977). "Chloe and Chanel Show Fall Styles in New York". The New York Times: 39. Retrieved 22 June 2022. The designer has long had a predilection for the 18th century, and the thigh‐high boots, cavalier blouses and loose smock dresses he made for fall seemed at home...
  73. ^ Morris, Bernadine (29 March 1977). "At Lagerfeld's Paris Show, the 18th Century Goes Modern". The New York Times: 41. Retrieved 1 December 2021. ...Karl Lagerfeld...can fill a collection with 18th‐century elements and come up with completely contemporary clothes.
  74. ^ Donovan, Carrie (6 May 1979). "American Designers Come of Age". The New York Times: 254. Retrieved 1 December 2021. It was Lagerfeld who originally introduced the current silhouette of broad shoulders, nipped waist, curvy hip and short skirt.
  75. ^ Morris, Bernadine (10 April 1979). "Impresarios of Fashion Preside at Les Halles". The New York Times: C12. Retrieved 1 December 2021. Mr. Lagerfeld put on his models stiff cardboard‐looking headdresses that rose like half‐moons over their skinned-back hair. And he gave them black satin or patent‐leather leggings edged in silver piping and fastened with silver buttons.
  76. ^ Hyde, Nina S. (16 October 1979). "Skirting the Mini". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 April 2022. Karl Lagerfeld, who designs for Chloe, showed the shortest miniskirts....[H]is minis with padded shoulders...are a breed apart....His minis...were served up in three categories: a single layer that barely covered the fanny, and double-tiered and triple-tiered skirts that still stopped above the knee.
  77. ^ Morris, Bernadine (14 April 1981). "How Paris Kept Position in Fashion". The New York Times: B19. Retrieved 4 April 2022. ...[V]ery short as well as very long skirts were represented.
  78. ^ Morris, Bernadine (6 October 1981). "Notes on Fashion". The New York Times: B8. Retrieved 4 April 2022. ...the new Long and Strong look - long skirts, shawls, wrap coats and lots of layers.
  79. ^ Hyde, Nina (6 April 1981). "Costumes from Classics". The Washington Post. Vol. 6. Retrieved 4 April 2022. ...French styles...are longer, fuller and more layered once again.
  80. ^ Hyde, Nina (9 April 1981). "Skirting the Classics". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 April 2022. 'It is not the old layering,' insists Karl Lagerfeld. 'It is weightless volume. Volume for movement, not for weight'.
  81. ^ Duka, John (20 October 1981). "Notes on Fashion". The New York Times: C7. Retrieved 4 April 2022. Lagerfeld has reintroduced the corset, in a version unappealingly severe...
  82. ^ Morris, Bernadine (19 October 1981). "Ungaro and Lagerfeld Brighten Paris Showings". The New York Times: B10. Retrieved 4 April 2022. ...[A]lmost every outfit, from supple knitted dress to unconstructed jacket, had wrapped around its waist a wide corselet belt which used to be called a waist-nipper.
  83. ^ Hyde, Nina (18 October 1982). "The Wages of Skin". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 April 2022. ...Lagerfeld has redesigned the girdle. It looks a bit like those back-support girdles sold by mail order from the backs of magazines. But these are often leather and stretch combined. Lagerfeld's girdle, which he puts over everything, including evening dresses, rises a bit above the waist but the emphasis is clearly over the hips.
  84. ^ Hyde, Nina (21 October 1982). "Hips! Shoulders! Knees!". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 April 2022. 'It would make no more sense to make a collection without pants anymore than a collection without skirts,' laughed Karl Lagerfeld at Chloé.
  85. ^ Hyde, Nina (6 April 1981). "Costumes from Classics". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 April 2022. ...Lagerfeld showed what he called his two-step -- a skirt or dress over pants...
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  87. ^ Mulvagh, Jane (1988). "1976-1986". Vogue History of 20th Century Fashion. London, England: Viking, the Penguin Group. p. 349. ISBN 0-670-80172-0. ...[E]ven though one of the jackets in the 1984 collection was priced at $75,000, the house could not make them fast enough.
  88. ^ Jessa Krick (October 2004). "Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel (1883–1971) and the House of Chanel". The Met.
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  95. ^ "Reshaping the Classics at the House of Chanel". The New York Times: 116. 12 December 1982. Retrieved 4 April 2022. ...slingback pumps revamped with a pointier toe and higher, curvier heel...
  96. ^ Morris, Bernadine (19 October 1982). "Givenchy and Chanel Excite Paris". The New York Times: C8. Retrieved 4 April 2022. ...[T]he black-toe pumps have greatly elevated heels...
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  98. ^ "Reshaping the Classics at the House of Chanel". The New York Times: 116. 12 December 1982. Retrieved 4 April 2022. ...[T]he quilted handbags stretched to new proportions. And the famous faux gold chains and pearls are poured on with a profusion that even Mlle. Chanel, a prodigious piler-oner of jewels herself, would never have suggested.
  99. ^ Morris, Bernadine (19 October 1982). "Givenchy and Chanel Excite Paris". The New York Times: C8. Retrieved 4 April 2022. The famous quilted Chanel handbag has been enlarged to portfolio size...[N]ever have [Chanel's chains and pearls] been so massive. Rows of gold chains not only hang around the neck, but around the hips and wrists as well.
  100. ^ Morris, Bernadine (22 March 1983). "Valentino Shines in Paris Amid Strong French Shows". The New York Times: C12. Retrieved 4 April 2022. ...[T]he quilted leather handbags...were almost suitcase size.
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  104. ^ Mulvagh, Jane (1988). "1976-1986". Vogue History of 20th Century Fashion. London, England: Viking, the Penguin Group. p. 349. ISBN 0-670-80172-0. Many were very critical of...Lagerfeld's brash, showy reinterpretation of Chanel, the most obvious examples being the use of prominent shoulder pads and heavy gilt jewellery – a parody of Chanel's earlier, understated style.
  105. ^ Mulvagh, Jane (1988). "1986". Vogue History of 20th Century Fashion. London, England: Viking, the Penguin Group. p. 398. ISBN 0-670-80172-0. ...Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel almost parodied status dressing,...[showing] miniskirts hung with chains and quilted like the handbags.
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