Karl Lagerfeld: The life of a design icon in pictures

  • Published

Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has died, aged 85, in Paris.

He was one of the world's most iconic designers, at the heart of not one, not two, but three fashion houses.

Image source, Christopher Anderson/Magnum

Karl Lagerfeld had been at the creative helm of Chanel since 1983 and had been designing for Fendi since 1965. He also designed collections for his own brand.

Lagerfeld was born Karl Otto Lagerfeldt in pre-war Germany. He changed his name because he believed Lagerfeld sounded "more commercial".

The designer emigrated to Paris as a teenager, and became a design assistant for Pierre Balmain.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Karl Lagerfeld seen in around 1960, then the artistic director of the Jean Patou fashion brand
Image source, Pierre Vauthey/Sygma/Getty Images
Image caption,
Lagerfeld fits one of his designs on top model Ines de la Fressange at Chloe's Paris studio.
Image source, Daniel SIMON/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
Image caption,
Lagerfeld works on design sketches at Chloe's Paris studio.

He began his career with Chanel in 1983, a decade after Coco Chanel died. In 1984 he launched his own name label.

He cut a striking figure wearing a distinctive ensemble of crisp white, high-collared shirts with black tailored jacket and jeans, punctuated with a tie, shades, fingerless gloves and black boots.

As a designer he transformed the fortunes of Chanel, one of the leading names in high fashion.

Image source, Michel Arnaud/CORBIS/Getty Images
Image caption,
Naomi Campbell models the Chanel ready to wear collection
Image source, Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
Image caption,
Linda Evangelista walks the runway at the Chanel Ready to Wear Fall/Winter 1991-1992 fashion show.

In 2018 Chanel become the first luxury fashion house in the world to stop using exotic animal skins, like snake, crocodile, lizard and stingray.

"We did it because it's in the air, but it's not an air people imposed to us," Mr Lagerfeld said. He argued "there was not much fur" in Chanel's work to begin with.

German model Claudia Schiffer and English model Kate Moss though displayed fur creations designed by Karl Lagerfeld for the Fall-Winter ready-to-wear collection of Chanel in Paris.

Image source, AFP

Lagerfeld also transformed the catwalk. For the Chanel AW14 show in Paris it became a high-end supermarket.

Image source, Francois Durand/Getty Images

In 2016 Chanel staged its show in the Cuban capital Havana - the first international fashion show since the 1959 communist revolution, shown in the two images below.

World celebrities gathered at a leafy promenade that was turned into a catwalk for the firm's Cruise collection, even though Chanel goods are not sold in Cuba.

Image source, Reuters
Image source, Reuters

Celebrities - including actor Vin Diesel and supermodel Gisele Bundchen - attended the show at Havana's Prado promenade to see Lagerfeld displaying the new collection.

Lagerfeld said the line was inspired by Cuba's "cultural richness".

Image source, Shutterstock
Image caption,
Katy Perry, Karl Lagerfeld, Cara Delevingne and Claudia Schiffer at the Chanel show, Fall Winter 2017, Haute Couture Fashion Week, in Paris
Image source, Shutterstock
Image caption,
Lady Gaga and Karl Lagerfeld at the Celine show, Spring Summer 2019, Paris Fashion Week

The designer had been unwell for several weeks, and had missed a number of fashion shows.

Image source, AFP

All images copyright