Tuesday morning, Feb. 19, it was announced that arguably one of fashion’s most influential designers had passed away in Paris at the age of 85. Karl Lagerfeld spent more than 65 years in the fashion and worked for the likes of Pierre Balmain, Jean Patou and Chloé, as well as becoming creative director for Fendi and taking the lead at Chanel. Today, the fashion world mourns the loss of an icon, but the designer and his never ending creativity can still be remembered through his collections.
1. Chloé 1964
According to Lagerfeld’s website, he was “one of the first freelancers in the modern fashion industry.” Among the brands he did freelance work for was Chloé, the fashion house founded by Gaby Aghion in 1952. Lagerfeld’s collections perfectly implemented the style of the time as well as the charming and bohemian pieces that the brand is famous for today. Lagerfeld’s spring collection in 1964 made Chloé an international success and earned Lagerfeld fame in the fashion world.
2. Fendi 1965
Lagerfeld lead Fendi’s ready to wear and fur collections. He was the first to embrace using cheaper furs from rabbits and squirrels which had never been used in the world of fashion. Lagerfeld took fur, which was usually only worn for formal occasions, and made it acceptable for the everyday.
3. Chloé 1975
Despite not having his own fragrance label, Lagerfeld was the first fashion designer to have his own fragrance while working for Chloé. The perfume was called Chloé, but said “Perfums Lagerfeld” on the bottle, becoming the first to attach his name to a brand’s product.
4. Chanel Fall/ Winter 1991-1992
Lagerfeld’s designs for Chanel after being hired in 1983 are said to have saved the brand from ruin. What’s more is that most of the looks we consider to be classic Chanel, such as the double C logo come from the brain of Lagerfeld. In his fall and winter collection in 1991 he incorporated classic tweed and grunge using flashy jewelry and belts to give off a rap and hip-hop theme. “Rappers tell the truth … that’s what’s needed now,” he is quoted saying after the show.
5. Chanel 1993
At a show in 1993, Lagerfeld sparked controversy when he brought on porn star Moana Pozzi and other strippers to parade down the catwalk. It was enough to make even American Vogue editor in-chief walk out.
6. 2004 H&M
In 2004, Lagerfeld launched his collection with fast fashion brand H&M. Blurring the lines between high and low fashion, Lagerfeld paved the way for brands like Balmain and Moschino to also pair with H&M later on.
7. Fendi Great Wall of China Fashion Show 2007
In 2007, Lagerfeld brought guests to the wonder of the world that can be seen from space, the Great Wall of China to see Fendi’s latest collection. As seen in his Chanel shows, Lagerfeld was always well known for creating shows that kept people talking for years.
8. Fendi 2015
Karl made Fendi history in 2015 when he organized the luxury brand’s first ever haute couture show. The show was creatively called “Haute Fourrure” since the line would highlight 36 furry looks in many colors and styles and even accompanied with feathers. The fashion world rejoiced even if PETA didn’t.
9. Chanel Spring 2015
Although you might not think of feminism as a “trend”, Lagerfeld was always one to take what was important in society at the time and make it known in fashion as well. Although controversial comments from Lagerfeld would make it seem as though he himself is not a feminist, he did stage a feminist protest on the Chanel runway for the Spring 2015 collection.
10. 2019 Lagerfeld dies in Paris
After wrapping both Chanel and Fendi’s 2019 shows, Karl Lagerfeld passes and receives an outpouring of sentiments from the fashion industry including several of the models that he helped bring into the spotlight.
Truly working until the end, Lagerfeld will always be remembered for what he brought to fashion. Rest in Peace Karl.