On Tuesday, the fashion world stood still for one day. Karl Lagerfeld, for many the most famous designer in the world, died at the age of 85. Retiring was never an option for Lagerfeld, as he told in an interview four years ago. He was far too busy for that. Charlemagne' will probably not have retired with 19.02.2019 neither. He himself would probably say that he had only moved his workplace somewhere else.
Karl Lagerfeld was born on September 10th 1933 in Hamburg. In the hanseatic city Karl, who was the only one at school to come with a shirt and tie (and not like me in sweatpants and thus completely without control over my life), did not stay long. In 1953 he moved with his mother to Paris, the city that was also his centre of life until the end. One year later he celebrated his first big success. At a competition, one of his designs for a coat was awarded first prize. In another category, Yves Saint Laurent won, who first became a friend and later a big competitor. This success brought Lagerfeld his first job. The Paris fashion label Balmain had its coat produced for its own line and Lagerfeld began a tailoring apprenticeship there.
Over the years Lagerfeld worked for many big names in the fashion world. However, the name Lagerfeld is usually associated with Fendi and especially with Chanel. So he worked for Fendi since 1965 and was even the designer of almost every known FF logo today. However, the greatest success attributed to him is the awakening of Chanel from her Sleeping Beauty sleep. While Chanel was worn by older ladies before it began in 1984, Lagerfeld developed the company into a modern and fresh luxury brand. His crazy, creative and above all new ideas of the locations and the presentation of the various fashion shows remain unforgotten. So he let his models once walk through a replica supermarket or through the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie.
But also outside the luxury world, Lagerfeld knew how to start interesting cooperations. In 2004, in collaboration with H&M, Lagerfeld created its own collection, which was followed in the following years by many collabos with other designers. Another collaboration arose with Coca Cola, for whom he designed his own Cola bottle.
His mother said at the beginning of his career, when he had already made millions with his fashion: "You could have made more out of yourself, but with your lack of ambition it's okay what you did. Nobody would contradict Mrs. Lagerfeld at this point. If you look back on your long career, only one word would have to be improved. Karl Lagerfeld was a provocateur, who often met with displeasure and insult with his statements. He was a master of self-staging, one thinks of his always the same but unmistakable outfit. But above all he will be remembered as an icon and a genius. His courage to go new, different ways with full conviction was the key to his success and made him immortal.
He himself once said: "I think it's better for people to turn around in their graves than to rest forever". The myth of Karl Lagerfeld will probably never rest, and Lagerfeld himself should never rest either. Finally there is still enough work waiting for him: since Tuesday all angels are wearing Chanel...
P.S.: I myself have lived for years after a quotation from Karl Lagerfeld. He once said: "You have to throw the money out the window so it can get back in the door". How you drive with it and how you interpret it is up to you. For me, however, this quote means above all fun in life. Thank you Karl.