Having drawn his last breath on the 19th day of February 2019, aged 85 years, Karl Lagerfeld has been worldly recognized in the last several decades as a fashion designer who was based in France. His incredible talent was greatly acknowledged ever since he worked with Chanel, a worldly prestigious brand in the 1980s. We can all agree that till today, most people knew Karl Lagerfeld as a designer working at Chanel, and nothing more about his life besides his career as a fashion designer at Chanel and the Chanel cloth-line look-books put together and flaunted during high profiled fashion shows hosted in great cities globally.
Therefore, this article shall be delving deeper into Karl Lagerfeld’s life before his demise in order to help readers appreciate his journey to the success story written today. Throughout the article, you shall be able to learn at least 10 things that you did not know about Karl Lagerfeld. The article shall outline Karl Lagerfeld’s Biography by looking at different phases of his life namely;
Karl’s Place of Birth and Early Life
The Late Karl Lagerfeld was born on September 10th of 1933. However, this date is subject to further clarification as Karl has never plainly spelt out his date of birth. He was born in Hamburg, Germany. Initially educated at St Anne’s school, following his family’s emigration to France, Karl completed his education at Lycée Montaigne, where he focused on drawing and history.
In his early year, then name addressed to him was Karl Otto Lagerfeld. After several conducted interviews with Karl, it was revealed that the main reason why Karl dealt away with the letter in his initial name was for the purpose of making it easily commercialized.
Different from most global celebrities, Karl did not come from a humble background but in fact the opposite. Karl’s father sourced his livelihood from supplying condensed milk to all of Germany, while the mother was a well-adorned violinist, whose talent was well recognized in all of Germany. Safe to say, Karl was raised up in an affluent household, together with his siblings Martha, his older sister and Thea, his half-sister. From a tender age, Karl was in love with fashion in his own amateur way. He would be spotted several times as a young boy picking on his fellow mates regarding how they would dress down their uniforms. It is well known that Adolf Hitler acquired his powerful status in Germany during the 1930s in Germany, during which the Lagerfeld’s migrated to the northern stretch of Germany, and Karl being a toddler at the time, was shut away from all mastery regarding the Nazis.
Karl Has Designed For More Than One Brand
In the year 1967, high profiled work soon crossed his career path as he mandated over designing fashion collections for Chloe Fendi, a highly invasive fashion house recognized universally. He was hired by Fendi to renovate Fendi’s fur-lined and his alluring fashion construction and presentation of the cloth-line was an absolute fashion sensation that was well acknowledged and fueled his global status as a fashion icon. Karl’s unorthodox and fresh designs were well adorned. Karl was known to have a magic touch in reinventing and reimagining old clothes and garments.
Karl’s freelance nature of his work ethics in the 1980s has exposed him to famous and highly regarded fashion houses and great designers. This kind of exposure has enabled him to emerge as the pioneer fashion genius that he is known for till today. Over the years, he has attracted a lot of press, who document on his dynamic fashion tastes as well as his life outside his career, such as Vogue, who covered a documentary on his life and accomplishments in the year 2007.
“In a meat-eating world, wearing leather for shoes and clothes and even handbags, the discussion of fur is childish.” ~Karl Lagerfeld
Karl Came Up With the Interlocked CC Trademark for Chanel
During the 1980s, Karl Lagerfeld was a fashion icon in the fashion world. His work and his status were globally applauded and recommended. True to say, his career had taken off. During this time was when Karl Lagerfeld was hired by Chanel, a fashion house which was considered to be deteriorating in operations, ever since the demise of Coco Chanel, who was an affluent designer running Chanel.
Karl told The New York Times, “Everybody said, ‘Don’t touch it, it’s dead, it will never come back.’ But by then I thought it was a challenge.” His well applauded glamorous fashion sense absolutely revamped the operation and status of Coco Chanel fashion house. Karl has made cult items of the house’s bouclé tweed, pearls, dual-toned footwear and interlocking C’s for new generations around the globe. In commemoration of the Late Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld incorporated the intermesh symbol of letters CC as a trademark for the House of Chanel.
Karl’s Source of Inspirations For His Designs
Karl’s chronicles as a designer have been regarded as a role model worthy of emulation. Karl believed in diversity and considered normal to be boring. Karl had a collection of famous muses. As the creative director of Chanel, Karl ought to have had several sources of inspiration for his recommendable work. He often spoke of a collection of muses contained in his black executive book as an inspiration of his work, ranging from models to actresses.
His inspiration for most of his collections abided by one principle: “More is Less”. According to Karl, one would put on a fashion piece without having to do a lot or wear something statement and trade it in for something simple and classic.
In the 2012, Chanel Paris Fashion Week, Karl’s collection was inspired by the sea. ‘nothing is more modern than the oldest shapes of the history of the world and not of humans. The shapes of the sea are very modern and very inspiring. The shapes of the fishes, they are unbelievably modern’.
“I am like a TV antenna. I catch everything that is in the air, and then I do it my way.”~ Karl Lagerfeld
Karl’s net worth
Karl’s net worth is a whopping 125 Million dollars. This net worth ranks Karl as the most well-paid creative director globally. It, however, does not come as a huge shock as Karl has worked really hard for it and has worked for various high profile brands that make huge returns. Respect to his net worth, Karl has established several restaurants in Berlin. Moreover, he has his own vodka brand called pure Lagerfeld Germany.
Karl is Some Kind of a Technophobe
“I’m born with a pencil in my hand. I did lots of sketching.”~ Karl Lagerfeld
A technophobe is the kind of person who avoids using new technology. Despite the evolution of technology globally and the use of smartphones and Ipads, Karl would still pull out a book, grab a pen and sketch designs. During his interview with Vogue in 2015, Karl stated that sketching is the only way he knows how to design.
Karl’s Signature Look
“I’ve always known that I was made to live this way, that I would be this sort of legend.” ~ Karl Lagerfeld
Karl’s personal style followed a classic principle in fashion. He was ever seen in a high pinned edgy collar shirt and black gloves. His white hair would always be laid back and held in a ponytail. Karl’s upper body would be accorded in a black slimming coat or a leather jacket as well as his iconic black glasses. However, his appearance was not always this way, and his style and fashion sense evolved from his early years to his mid-eighties.
Karl’s Custom Diet Book
If you have ever wondered how Karl managed to look like a teenager in his classic jeans, here is why. Karl was enrolled in a celebrity diet book containing a diet plan constructed by nutrition professionals that enables him to lose approximately 90 pounds in just 13 months. His diet included a restricted amount of fat and deeply fried food ingestion and increased amount of vegetables and proteins.
Karl’s Famous Modelling Cat
Karl, in his life, has had a very unique love life that is not known to many. The love he claimed in public over and over was his love for his cat called Choupette and often referred to it as his heiress. Choupette has over 300,000 followers on Instagram.
The cat was very dear to Karl and would often be seen in attendance on the very high fashion show events cuddling in Karl’s arms. His cat was and still is a well-known cat in the modelling industry, who appeared severally on Chanel’s shoot with models. Choupette as a modelling cat makes over 3 million dollars.
The Making of a Special Limitted Edition Steiff Bear
When you are a celebrity, merchandizes are made to have your image and impression. Some celebrities get featured in comic books and some as action figures but Karl Lagerfeld gets to have a bear made in his likeness! Yes, that’s right. Steiff Bears perpetuated Karl’s image with a peculiar edition bear in September 2008, and they sold for 1,500 dollars. The company, Steiff Bears was also approached to make Choupette’s cuddle toy that was completed with Choupette’s signature dazzling blue eyes.
Karl Lagerfeld was an inventive fashion mastermind with exceptional taste and eye for high fashion pieces. Karl’s legacy shall definitely light up the way for most if not all fashion designers all over the world, regardless of whether one is well established or not even born. His biography is a series of choices that he made that are worth emulation and applause. He had a liberal mindset that was not everyone’s cup of tea. However, regardless of whether or not one approved his life choices or not, it can be agreed upon that every person can pluck a page out of his book.