The End of a Fashion Era: Karl Lagerfeld's Death

On Tuesday, Feb. 19, Karl Lagerfeld died in the hospital after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Lagerfeld is known to the world as a fashion designer who had his own label. He also worked with a lot of famous brands, such as ChanelTommy HilfigerFendi.

Lagerfeld at the end of the Chanel fashion show during Paris Fashion Week 2012 | Retrieved from

Lagerfeld was born in Hamburg, Germany. Although he has never outspokenly shared his date of birth, it is considered to be Sept. 10, 1933 or 1938. The designer's family made a decent living, but the parents' main goal was to bring up intelligent children. Later, his family moved to Northern Germany because of the rise of Hitler’s dictatorship. Lagerfeld’s passion for fashion appeared in his early childhood. He used to criticize his classmates’ clothing preferences. During his teenage years, he fully dedicated himself to high fashion, the most luxurious, elegant and expensive clothing and accessories from top fashion designers. At the age of 14, Lagerfeld moved to Paris, where he won his first design competition. Pierre Balmain, a famous French designer, saw the boy's talent during the contest and offered him a job in his fashion house. Later, he moved to another job as a creative director.

Lagerfeld during his work in the fashion house of Pierre Balmain | Retrieved from

In 1961, Lagerfeld decided to work as a freelancer, which made him one of the first free agents in the fashion industry. He started off as a designer for ChloeFendi, and others. His innovative works conquered the fashion industry but his inspiration came from the flea markets, where he usually went for shopping. 20 years later, Lagerfeld was already a star in this industry, because of his successful work for many labels. The designer brought Chanel, which at that time was almost dead as a brand, back to life and created an entirely new fashion line. "What I do, Coco would have hated,” Lagerfeld commented on his work for Chanel. “I had to go from what Chanel was, to what it should be, could be, what it had been, to something else."

Sunglasses at any time of the day, indoors or outdoors, became a trademark of the designer's polished look | Retrieved from

In 1984, Lagerfeld opened his own label with the idea of “intellectual sexiness” and reputation of well-tailored pieces such as cardigan jackets in bright colors. Only two years later, a collection of his brand won an award of Golden Thimble. Yet, in 2005, he decided to sell his label to Tommy Hilfiger. "I’m a kind of fashion nymphomaniac,” Lagerfeld said, “who never gets an orgasm."

The fashion designer working on his new collection | Retrieved from

Regarding Lagerfeld’s personal life, there were rumors about his relationship with the designer Jeremy Scott, but in fact, he was single since the death of his best friend and beloved, Jacques de Bascher, in 1989. "It's a relationship that cannot be repeated,” shared Lagerfeld in an interview for The Sunday Telegraph in 1997. “It was not a physical thing, it was something beyond that." The famous designer never got married and remained childless. "They [chidren] grow so fast, and having adult children makes you look 100 years old,” Lagerfeld said. “I don’t want that."

Lagerfeld with Jacques de Bascher | Retrieved from

In 2000, Lagerfeld lost 42 kilograms and shocked the world. He did that with the intention of wearing clothes designed by Hedi Slimane. The book about his experience, The 3D Diet, was sold in tens of thousands of copies worldwide

Lagerfeld before and after weight loss | Retrieved from

In 2010, Lagerfeld received the Fashion Visionary Award during the New York Fashion Week. Five years later, the designer won the British Fashion Award for Outstanding Achievement. "He changed the way women dress and perceive fashion," British Fashion Council Chief Executive, Caroline Rush, noted. "He inspired generations of young designers and will continue to do so."

Jason Momoa and his wife honored Lagerfeld by wearing matching outfits designed by him | Retrieved from

At the beginning of 2019, Lagerfeld stopped appearing in the fashion shows. His absence was especially noticeable at the end of his Chanel show in Paris. A month later, it was announced that the famous designer had died in the hospital.

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