(Picture: EPA/IAN LANGSDON)Karl Lagerfeld, the iconic designer behind Chanel, has died.
The designer was 85 years old.
It’s reported that Lagerfeld passed away on Tuesday 19 February.
Paris Match reports that Karl was hospitalised on Monday night and passed on Tuesday morning.
The designer has been an icon of fashion since designing his first collection for Chanel in 1983.
He was absent from Chanel’s shows in January, prompting health concerns. In a statement following the second show without an appearance from Lagerfeld, Chanel stated that the designer was ‘feeling tired’ and ‘asked Virginie Viard, director of the creative studio of the house, to represent him.’
(Picture: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo)January was the first time Karl had ever missed an end-of-catwalk bow at one of his shows.
For the past year Karl made most of his catwalk appearances jointly with Virginie Viard, prompting discussion that Viard may take over Chanel after Lagerfeld’s retirement.
Karl was known for his signature look of a black suit, white shirt, white ponytail, and dark sunglasses – but he looked a little different at his last public appearance, turning on the Christmas lights on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées in Paris.
Karl Lagerfeld looks on after launching the Champs Elysees Christmas lights, on November 22, in Paris (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)Though the German designer sported his signature all-black look – donning a jacket from Chanel’s 2010 Paris-Byzance Métiers d’Art collection and teaming it with sunglasses and a chic ponytail – he had on a new pair of sunglasses, a beard, and showed a smile with broken teeth.
Karl once said of his look: ‘I am like a caricature of myself, and I like that. It is like a mask.’
Karl Lagerfeld’s Instagram posted an update one hour before news broke of Karl’s passing, showing a video of polka dot bags.
That post has now been flooded with comments from fans paying their respect to the iconic designer.
(Picture: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier)Karl Lagerfeld was born Karl Otto Largerfeldt in 1933, in Germany. Quickly discovering a love for clothing, he moved to Paris as a teenager to begin working for fashion houses.
He started his career as a design assistant for Pierre Balmain. As he became more successful, Karl dropped the ‘t’ from his last name, stating that Lagerfeld sounded more commercial.
The designer remained at Balmain for three years before taking work as a creative director and then, in 1961, working as a designer alone, creating collections for Chloe and Fendi.
By the eighties, he was popular among celebrities such as Andy Warhol. He then took the helm at Chanel in 1983, one decade after the death of Coco Chanel, where he remained for the rest of his career alongside running his own label.
Fans and fellow designers are paying tribute to Karl on social media.
Designer Donatella Versace posted a photo of Lagerfeld on Instagram, writing: ‘Karl your genius touched the lives of so many, especially Gianni and I.
‘We will never forget your incredible talent and endless inspiration. We were always learning from you.’