Karl Otto Lagerfeld is an iconic German designer, artist and photographer. He is widely recognized as one of the most influential fashion designers of the late twentieth century along with Saint Laurent. He made his name as an independent creator who collaborated with a variety of different fashion labels, including Chloe, Fendi and Chanel.
Lagerfeld is known for his versatility and for expertly juggling his roles in various labels. Throughout the years as a designer in the industry, Karl Lagerfeld has developed a style all his own. His risk-taking, cutting edge approach to fashion has made him the most powerful designers in the business. Intricate detailing and "out there" styles set Lagerfeld’s designs apart from all others in the industry. The original creator of traditional box jacket and super-short denim mini skirts, Karl Lagerfeld has and will continue to influence the world of fashion in the future.Currently he is the Chief designer of Chanel and Fendi.He also presents Haute Couture collection for Channel.In his 25 years as creative director of Chanel, Lagerfeld has not only safeguarded the towering legacy of Coco Chanel but has also enhanced it by turning the house into one of the most powerful and profitable brands in the world.
To describe Lagerfeld as a Renaissance man, then, would in no way do justice to either his hugely prolific output or indeed his versatility.
The success of Karl Lagerfeld—who can reportedly turn out 200 original lightning-speed sketches in a twelve-hour stretch—is founded on a high level of technical skill, honed from an early age. After moving to Paris as a young man, he competed in a design contest sponsored by the International Wool Secretariat. His winning garment, a wool coat, led him to an apprenticeship with Pierre Balmain. (The dress category in the same competition was won by Yves Saint Laurent.) Despite his victory, Lagerfeld admitted that he didn’t much like designing coats; what he really loved doing, he told a reporter, was little black dresses. He went on, of course, to become the crown-bearer of the timeless empire whose founder was herself the progenitor of said little black dress: Chanel.
Fifty-seven years after Vogue first showed readers Coco Chanel’s innovative LBD in 1926, the company was placed in Lagerfeld’s studded-fingerless-gloved hands, and neither the LBD nor Chanel were ever the same. “My job,” Lagerfeld has said, “is to bring out in people what they wouldn’t dare do themselves.” In a way, this is what he did for the Chanel image, as well: Its elegance and dignity had lost their clout among the sixties generation of jeans-and-miniskirts-wearers, but Lagerfeld was able to transform the house into the ultimate purveyor of bad-girl chic (wealthy bad girl, that is). He was, it turned out, the perfect designer to bring the nodding camellias back to life. “Tradition is something you have to handle carefully, because it can kill you,” he told Vogue in 1984. “Respect was never creative.”
In his first years as creative director, Lagerfeld was accused by some critics of going too far—so far as to desecrate their hallowed memories of Chanel. He threw so much leather and chains into his early collections that his old friend Yves Saint Laurent balked: Chanel, he said, had become “frightening, sadomasochistic.” “Who can say what is good taste and what is bad taste?” the designer has countered. “Sometimes bad taste is more creative than good taste.”
Lagerfeld fights a fear of boredom by channeling his intense energy and curiosity into a variety of activities, any of which could be a separate career. Besides designing his many fashion lines, this multilingual hyphenate is a photographer, director, illustrator, costume designer, and diet guru. He has filled numerous homes with extraordinary decorative arts—and delighted auction houses when he’s put many of these objets under the gavel. His public appearances have superstar overtones. His attendance at the 2005 Tokyo opening of the world’s largest Chanel store drew tears from fans in the crowd. “I witnessed not just one but many grown women weeping as Lagerfeld took to the thoroughfare,” reported André Leon Talley in Vogue. Some 170,000 people follow him on Twitter; even his beloved white Siamese cat, Choupette, a pampered puss who dines on the table with her master, boasts an online following in the thousands.
Although he has a love of the eighteenth century—he views it as both the most polite and the most modern period, a time when “no one was young; no one was old. Everyone had white hair”—Lagerfeld is firmly planted in the now. With an edge of subversion as his perennial leitmotif, Lagerfeld reinvented and revivified one of the most important and historic brands in the world. And he has brought this same fearlessness into the Italian iconoic brand Fendi.From designing $3,000 shorts for Chanel to entire dresses for a sliver of the price—he answered in typical fashion: “Because it amuses me.”
Karl Lagerfeld (since 1974, various brands)
Chanel (since 1983),
Fendi (since 1965),
Chloe (1963–1978, 1992–1997)
Karl's Collection(for Chanel and Fendi)