Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel Creative Director & Fashion Icon, Dead At 85

Karl Lagerfeld walks the runway during the Chanel Haute Couture Fall Winter 2018/2019 show.
Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

One of the most iconic men in the fashion world, Karl Lagerfeld, the creative director of Chanel and Fendi, has died at the age of 85.

The BBC reported that the German designer, who was known for his signature look of a white ponytail and dark glasses, was an icon in the fashion world, creating some of the most dynamic and striking looks of the fashion houses’ lines. The BBC quoted him commenting about his now-iconic look.

“I am like a caricature of myself, and I like that.”

Rumors that Lagerfeld was unwell came after he missed several shows during fashion week, of which he was a front-row staple. The Mirror reported that Lagerfeld was ill for two weeks. He was reportedly admitted to a Paris hospital one day before his death. Rumors began to circulate about the designer’s ill health after Lagerfeld missed two of Chanel’s Paris shows in late January.

“The state of his health had been a cause of concern for a number of weeks,” said a source to The Mirror. “He had not been seen at fashion shows that he was expected to attend. Karl was admitted to hospital on Monday, and died on Tuesday morning.”

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday, January 22, that they had obtained a statement regarding the designer’s absence from his shows, stating he was “tired.” Lagerfeld had never missed taking a bow at the end of his shows for Chanel, whom he began working for in 1983.

Karl Lagerfeld, the man behind the face of the most iconic couture fashion company in the world, noted on his official site his many talents.

“Lagerfeld oversees the creative direction of the Chanel and Fendi fashion houses. His visionary talent further expands beyond fashion to include illustration, photography, styling, and publishing.”

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It was in 1954 that Lagerfeld began his formal career in the fashion world after winning first prize in a contest organized by the International Wool Association for a sketch of a coat, reported his official site. Legendary French designer Pierre Balmain produced the coat and gave the 17-year-old Lagerfeld a job as his assistant. Balmain is one of the most iconic names in fashion, the French designer created looks for Hollywood royalty of the 1950s such as Marlene Dietrich, Katharine Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, and Sophia Loren, stated Pierre Balmain’s official website.

Throughout his career, Lagerfeld worked with some of the most iconic fashion houses in the world, such as Jean Patou, Fendi, and Chloe. He also was the first designer to introduce his own perfume named Chloe. He also used his love of photography to shoot his own fashion photos and designed two suites in the Hotel de Crillon in Paris just to name a few of the accomplishments listed on his official website.

Lagerfeld is survived by his beloved cat, Choupette, who is an Instagram star of her own with her own account with 119,000 followers.