KARL LAGERFELD | The Designer Who Shaped The Global Fashion Industry - Fashion Worldwide

Karl Lagerfeld is one of the most famous fashion designers in the world. He has been a major creative force behind well-known brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Chanel, and Fendi. He has been acclaimed for his bold designs and constant reinvention.

Karl Lagerfeld was born in Hamburg, Germany. He never revealed his true birthday, but it’s been reported that he was born September 10, 1933.

From an early age, Lagerfeld expressed an interest in design and fashion and he often cut out pictures from fashion magazines. When he was 10, his family had returned to Hamburg and Lagerfeld soon immersed in the world of high fashion.

He wanted to make a future elsewhere, and, at the age of 14, the designer made the bold and important decision – with the blessing of his parents of course – to move to Paris. After 2 years living there, he submitted a series of sketches and fabric samples to a design competition. He ended up taking first place in the coat category. At that time, he met another winner who would become later on a close friend, Yves Saint Laurent.

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Lagerfeld had a full time job working with the French designer Pierre Balmain, first as a junior assistant, and later as an apprentice. It was a demanding position, and the young designer remained in it for 3 years. After that, he worked with Jean Patou, Krizia, Charles Jourdan and Valentino.


He was a creative director with another fashion house before, making one on his own. Lagerfeld designed collections for Chloe, Fendi (where he was brought on to oversee the company’s fur line) and many others. Lagerfeld became known in the fashion industry for his innovative styles.


He joined a strong position at Fendi, then with Chloe for the whole following decade.

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By the 1980s, Karl Lagerfeld was a major name in the fashion world. He was he favorite designer among the press, who loved to chronicle his changing tastes and social life.

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He joined The Chanel House, a decade after Coco Chanel died. He became a factor of decision at Chanel after only 5 years of the label’s first ready-to-wear collection.

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Lagerfeld launched his own label, which he built around the idea of what he described as “intellectual sexiness.” Over the years, the brand developed a reputation for quality tailoring with bold ready-to-wear pieces like cardigan jackets in bright colors.


Vogue crowned Lagerfeld “unparalleled interpreter of the mood of the moment”.

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He worked with the label “Diesel”, where he launched a special denim collection named, Lagerfeld Gallery by Diesel presented at the Paris Fashion Week. About 90% of the collection sold off in its very first week, despite the enormous price range.


He collaborated with the Swedish multinational retail-clothing company, “H&M“. The brand offered a womenswear and menswear collection available in certain selected outlets. Almost the entire collection was sold out in only 2 days.

“What I enjoy most is doing something I’ve never done before.”

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Lagerfeld sold the label to the fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger.

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Lagerfeld launched a new specially designed collection of denim wear and fitted T-shirts for both men and women. This exquisite collection was called, “K Karl Lagerfeld”.


Lagerfeld designed 2 footwear lines for Italian label Hogan. He appeared in a Volkswagen commercial, in which he played himself. That same year, he designed a special bottle with his image for Coca Cola Light in France.


He designed a line of glassware for the Swedish company Orrefors. That same year, he signed on to create a new clothing collection for Macy’s.

“The collaboration is a kind of test how to do this kind of clothes in that price range. As you know, I love occasional co-branding. Macy’s is the perfect department store in the US, where everybody can find what they’re looking for without ruining their budget.”


He created a collection of holiday cosmetics for Japanese makeup artist, ShuUemura.


The fashion designer who shaped the glovbal fashion industry, opened up his first Karl Lagerfeld store in Doha, Qatar.

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  • Karl speaks several languages and owns 7L – a bookshop in Paris. He has also published books of his art photography.
  • Lagerfeld is famous for having lost a lot of weight and bringing out a diet book, “The Karl Lagerfeld Diet”. He lost 90lbs on a diet which included eating tuna and blackberry mousse.

“I think that fashion is the healthiest motivation for losing weight. Dieting is no fun. You have to be a real bore like me for it to work.”

  • Karl said in May 2011 that he wasn’t a big technology man:

“I don’t use cell phones. I read, I write, I love faxes, I like to take notes. I hate to be on the phone, I think it’s an intrusion. I’m reading, I’m sketching, I don’t want to be interrupted.”

  • The subject of countless documentaries, Lagerfeld is himself a filmmaker and regularly brings Chanel’s heritage to the medium – this is in addition to being a noted photographer. Lagerfeld shoots and creatively directs all of Chanel’s advertising.

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  • He currently lives in Paris with his cat Choupette.

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