Born in Hamburg, Karl Lagerfeld is a German artist, photographer and fashion designer. In regards to his birth date, there is much ambiguity from his side but his certificate states 1933 as the year he came into this world. Perhaps he is worried about appearing old and has always attempted to look stylish yet mysterious through his monochromatic dressing style that has become his trademark.
The designer was raised in a wealthy background as his father was a Swedish businessman and fortunately he didn’t face the scarcity caused by the second world war. Karl completed his secondary education from Lycée Montaigne, Paris, majoring in history and drawing. Later on, he was hired as an assistant by Pierre Balmain after winning a design challenge sponsored in 1955 by International Wool Secretarial. He then switched to Jean Patou after three years and the collections he made were under the name Roland Karl since reporters misspelled Lagerfeld. Between 1963 and 1969, he worked at a Roman fashion house, Tiziani. In 1966, Elizabeth Taylor began dressing herself up with this brand and some other personalities also started to buy the prêt-a-porter version, such as Principessa Borghese, Doris Duke and Gina Lollobrigida. After six years from the start of his career in Tiziani, Lagerfeld was replaced with Guy Douvier. Prior to the replacement, Karl Lagerfeld had already started to design as a freelancer for Chloé. By 1972, he collaborated with Fendi and designed accessories, clothing and fur. In the 1970s, Lagerfeld has seldom worked for theatres, such as Milan’s La Scala, Vienna’s Burgtheater, and Salzburg Festival – as a costume designer with stage directors like Jürgen Flimm and Luca Ronconi. At the same time, he was in a contract with Isetan, a firm from Japan, to make collections for women and men through the use of thirty licenses. In 2002, he requested Renzo Rosso, Diesel‘s founder to collaborate with him and the duo created a collection which was shown at Paris Fashion Week. In addition to this, the designer has teamed up with H&M.
Lagerfeld has worked on other design ventures as well, such as one with Dubai Infinity Holdings to design houses on an island and the other with Steiff in order to create and produce teddy bears.
Lagerfeld’s designs have been featured in films as well, like Callas Forever. In 2004, Madonna was seen wearing Karl Lagerfeld’s outfits during her Re-Invention tour and then Kylie Minogue was also dressed up in his piece of work at the Showgirl tour.
Apart from designing clothes, Lagerfeld is a known photographer as well. He took pictures of a series of undressed celebrities and models into a work, titled as Visionaire 23: The Emperor’s New Clothes. He also captured Mariah Carey on his camera for V magazine’s cover in 2005. His work has been published inVogue, Numéro and Harper’s Bazaar.
Karl Lagerfeld was the subject of Signé Chanel, a reality television series aired on Sundance Channel in 2006 during the fall season in the United States. Moreover, he is the host of K 109 – The Studio, an imaginary radio channel in Grand Theft Auto IV, a popular video game.
Moving on, in the hope to fit in the slim designs by Hedi Slimane, Lagerfeld lost around 92 pounds in thirteen months in 2001. The diet was planned by Dr. Jean Claude Houdret, and this activity led to the publishing of a book titled The Karl Lagerfeld Diet.
Concerning his personal life, he is very close to his cat, Choupette and if it was legal, Lagerfeld once pointed out that he would wed Choupette.