Haute-couture designer Karl Lagerfeld has died

Tanya Cunningham
February 20, 2019

Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld has died at the age of 85, according to the New York Times.

Karl Lagerfeld pulled out of two Chanel Paris haute couture fashion shows in January, with the label announcing the veteran designer "was exhausted this morning".

German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld poses in front of some of his pictures as he visits his exibition "Karl Lagerfeld, parcours de travail", on September 14, 2010 at the Maison de la photographie in Paris.

"That's OK", he told reporters who once questioned him on the subject, "because I am not French", hinting that the money could be left in trust.

Famed for his omnipresent dark sunglasses, white ponytail and black leather gloves, the enigmatic Lagerfeld was arguably the most prolific designer of the modern age. "Photo, fashion. He was crazily talented, he was cultured. how are they going to replace him?" she wondered.

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

Now the white fluffy Burmese cat that the late fashion designer doted on could be about to become the richest feline on the planet. The iconic fashion designer was the creative director for Chanel and Fendi.

Lagerfeld has always been considered fashion's last mad genius - a harmful stereotype that idolizes brilliance, and excuses bad behaviour.

"Karl Lagerfeld is an vast personality, someone out of the ordinary", French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told RTL radio.

Tributes poured in from around the world for the man affectionately nicknamed "Kaiser Karl" and "Fashion Meister".

Karl Lagerfeld acknowledges applause at the spring '98 Chanel show. The brand said he was "feeling exhausted".

A true craftsman who combined artistic instinct, business acumen and commensurate ego, Lagerfeld was known for his strikingly visual fashion show displays and extravagant outfits.

The son of an industrialist who made a fortune in condensed milk and his violinist wife, Lagerfeld was born into an affluent family in Hamburg, Germany.

A post on the official Instagram account for Karl Lagerfeld's label shared the news of his death "with deep emotion and sadness". Reps for Chanel have not yet disclosed whether Viard's appointment is permanent.

He never ceased to shake up the storied house, sending out a logo-emblazoned bikini so small that the top looked like pasties on a string and another collection that dispensed entirely with bottoms, with the models wearing little jackets over opaque tights instead. "I visualise the show, get things ready for him, decide on materials, coordinate the teams and liaise with suppliers", she said in 2017.

Lagerfeld told CNN of his enduring love for Choupette in 2013: "There is no marriage, yet, for human beings and animals".

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