Karl Otto Lagerfeld

Paris, France – July 7, 2008: Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld stands near Galignani bookshop in Paris.

By Lauren May Malis

I like to reinvent myself.
It’s part of
my job.

― Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Otto Lagerfeld was a German creative director, fashion designer, artist, photographer, and caricaturist who lived in Paris. He was known as the creative director of the French fashion house Chanel, a position held from 1983 until his death, and was also creative director of the Italian fur and leather goods fashion house Fendi, and of his own eponymous fashion label. He collaborated on a variety of fashion and art-related projects. He was recognized for his signature white hair and black outfits.  He was fashion. And he was bigger than life.

When Lagerfeld arrived at Chanel in 1983, he stepped into a company that had lost its way following the death of its founder Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in 1971.

A bon vivant and an innovator- he created a legacy. His formidable drive and passion brought an injection of avant garde and flair into the brand. Lagerfeld pushed the company forward into a new era.

Keeping with tradition of Chanel’s early designs he built on her sense of androgynous chic, rethinking her famous looks for a new audience. And it worked. Brilliantly.  The brand will live on now in the hands of Virginie Viardho worked with him side by side for thirty years. There will never be another Karl but there will always be The House Chanel.

Life is not a beauty contest. Intelligence lasts, youth and beauty are seasonal.

― Karl Lagerfeld

Tokyo, Japan – October 17, 2014: Shoppers walking by a Chanel store at the high-end shopping district of Ginza.

One is never over or under-dressed with a little black dress.

— Karl Lagerfeld

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