You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Legendary Fashion Designer Karl Lagerfeld Dies at 85

Karl Lagerfeld, the fashion icon – and iconoclast – who outfitted and photographed such stars as Nicole Kidman and Lady Gaga, has died. He was 85.

Lagerfeld died in Paris, fashion house Chanel said. Although his health had been failing, he kept working up to his death, issuing instructions regarding Fendi’s fall ready-to-wear collection, which will be showcased in Milan later this week, Variety sister publication WWD reported.

“A prolific creative mind with endless imagination, Karl Lagerfeld explored many artistic horizons, including photography and short films,” Chanel said, adding that it had “benefited from his talent for all the branding campaigns related to fashion since 1987. Finally, one cannot refer to Karl Lagerfeld without mentioning his innate sense of repartee and self-mockery.”

Lagerfeld hobnobbed with Hollywood celebrities and the European elite. With his vast network of connections, he was able to cast such luminaries as Kristen Stewart, Lily-Rose Depp, and Jerry Hall in fashion spots promoting Chanel fashions and accessories.

He was also known for his prickly personality, even getting into a much-publicized spat with Meryl Streep before the 2017 Oscars. In what he later said was a misunderstanding, Lagerfeld accused the legendary actress of abandoning his Chanel creation for the dress of another designer who was willing to pay her, calling Streep “a genius actress, but cheapness also, no?” Lagerfeld later apologized for his remarks.

Few disputed his commanding reputation in the fashion industry, or the creative power that helped turn around Chanel’s fortunes after he took over as couturier in 1983. Lagerfeld’s name grew to become synonymous with innovation and luxury, and both he and his creations were ubiquitous presences on red carpets across the globe. Yet Lagerfeld also eschewed the drinking, smoking and partying associated with that glamorous world, sometimes stopping to wonder at the renown he achieved later in life than had happened to many of his contemporaries.

“It’s unbelievable, I don’t know how it happened — it’s so strange, this fame thing,” he once said. “But as my fortune-teller told me when I was young, she said: ‘For you, it will really start when it’s finished for the others.’ It’s quite true.”

He was born in Hamburg, Germany, an only child who from an early age exhibited artistic talent. He eventually moved to Paris and was hired by Chanel.

Behind his trademark dark, almost mysterious sunglasses, Lagerfeld revealed little about his private life. He was known to have had a relationship in the 1970s with Jacques de Bascher, after whom he named his 1997 fragrance, Jako.

More Scene

  • Jordan Peele'Us' film premiere, Arrivals, New

    Jordan Peele Explains the Meaning Behind the 'Us' Michael Jackson Reference

    Jordan Peele’s horror movie “Us” is filled with pop culture references, from “Jaws” to “Goonies.” But the most divisive might be right in his opening sequence. Warning, minor spoilers ahead. The movie about a couple (played by Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke) and their children being hunted and brutalized by a mysterious family that looks just [...]

  • Danielle Brooks'Ain't Too Proud - The

    How 'Orange Is the New Black' Star Danielle Brooks Became a Broadway Producer

    Danielle Brooks earned a Tony nomination when she made her Broadway debut as Sofia in the 2015 revival of “The Color Purple,” but now the “Orange Is the New Black” star is working behind the scenes as a producer on the new jukebox musical “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.” “I [...]

  • Nick Offerman Amy Poehler

    'Parks and Recreation' Cast Talks Possibility of a Revival at 10th Anniversary Reunion

    For one night, Hollywood felt a little like Pawnee. The cast of NBC’s hit comedy “Parks and Recreation” reunited at PaleyFest on Thursday in honor of the show’s 10th anniversary. The whole Pawnee gang showed up: Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Rob Lowe, Adam Scott, Rashida Jones, Retta, and Jim [...]

  • Andy CohenThe Shops and Restaurants at

    Andy Cohen to Receive Vito Russo Award at GLAAD Media Awards

    Mazel, Andy Cohen! Bravo’s late-night talk show host is set to receive the Vito Russo Award at the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards on May 4 in New York City. Sarah Jessica Parker will present him with the award, which is named in honor of GLAAD founder Vito Russo. The annual award goes to openly [...]

  • Variety TV Summit Europe

    Variety TV Summit Europe Coming to London on June 13

    Variety’s TV Summit Europe will coincide with London Tech Week this year, returning to the city on June 13. The international conference will be held at the Royal Lancaster and is co-produced by global events company Informa’s KNect365 division, the world’s largest business-to-business organizer. The one-day summit will focus on the intersection of content and [...]

  • David Furnish, Bryce Dallas Howard, Taron

    'Rocketman': Paramount Previews Footage of Elton John Biopic

    “Rocketman” is ready for lift off. Paramount Pictures threw a cocktail party Monday night to preview 15 minutes of the upcoming Elton John biopic, set for release on May 31, at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, the legendary rock club where John made his U.S. debut nearly 50 years ago. The footage featured pieces of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content