Karl Lagerfeld, creative director and designer of the famous fashion houses Chanel and Fendi, died Feb. 19 at the age of 85.
He spent over 30 years at Chanel and Fendi. He started his career at Fendi in 1965 and at Chanel in 1983.
Chanel has always been one of my favorite luxury brands. Lagerfeld’s designs were very royal like the iconic Chanel yellow blazer and shorts.
Chanel No. 5 is such a memorable scent. I remember when I was younger it was my mom’s signature scent. It has a classy and mature smell to it and it always reminds me of my mom.
Lagerfeld did that, his creations became memorable.
It is remarkable how he changed and made Chanel into to what it is today. Even though I don’t agree with everything he has said in the past, he was an amazing designer who had talent and a niche for luxury haute couture.
Chanel went from a fading fashion house to one that is known for Chanel No. 5, handbags and exquisite fashion shows. He revamped the catwalk by using waterfalls, grocery stores and other unlikely objects for the shows, making them more theatrical.
His runway shows always amazed me because they were something never seen or done before. He created beaches, forests and flew in glaciers for his shows. His imagination and execution are what made his shows mesmerizing.
He even had one fashion show in 2014 dedicated to feminism. Models walked the runway carrying signs saying, “History Is Her Story” and other pro-feminist slogans.
Not many designers have addressed social issues on the runway.
I felt that this was a big deal because Chanel is an enormous brand and the house was showing where it stood on social issues.
He not only was the head of two fashion houses but also had his own line for H&M, a budget friendly capsule collection. He worked as a publisher, photographer, author and a furniture designer. He also worked for fashion house Chloe and shot some of his own campaigns for that fashion house.
Many directors of big fashion houses only have that one position, but Lagerfeld held two while pursuing his passions on the side. That is notable and takes dedication which I respect him for; despite his age, he was consistently working.
What does his passing mean for the fashion house?
Virginie Viard will be the new creative director of Chanel. Viard being Lagerfeld’s collaborator will have big shoes to fill but will continue to keep Chanel a popular fashion house.
Lagerfeld and Chanel were my introduction to the high fashion world and helped me realize that this is the industry that I want to be a part of.
As his last collection, Fendi, was shown Feb. 21 of this year in Milan, the fashion world mourns the loss of a great artist with hundreds of fashion moments and the iconic Chanel monogram.