LIFESTYLE & COMMUNITY

Karl Lagerfeld: One Of The Most Acclaimed Designers Who Epitomized The Art Of Fashion

Date November 21, 2017

Karl Lagerfeld is known by most as a true icon in the fashion industry. He is a German creative director and photographer. He is currently the creative heard at the fashion houses Chanel and Fendi.

As one of the most popular (and sometimes, a little bit eccentric) figures in fashion, it makes sense there's a lot about his life that people would find interesting. His past, his work, and controversies that surround him have always made headlines.

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Early Life

Karl Lagerfeld was reportedly born on the 10th of September, 1933, in Hamburg, Germany. His father, Otto Lagerfeld, achieved wealth after he introduced powdered milk to Europe. His mother, Elisabeth Bahlmann, was actually a fashionable young woman who we assume made an impression on young Lagerfeld.

As a child, Lagerfeld was interested in fashion, but he was also said to have been very curious about history too. He himself once said that designing and sketching dresses was a favorite childhood hobby of his.

At 14, Lagerfield moved to Paris, which was where his interest in the world of French fashion began to grow. He was inspired by the fanciful French women who wore gorgeous dresses and jewelry.

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Career

By the time he was 16, Karl already had a pretty good idea that the world of fashion was his calling. When the International Wool Secretariat Competition was taking place, teenage Lagerfeld sent in his sketches to be considered as the contest was open to any young nonprofessional designer. Out of the thousands that entered the competition, which saw the likes of Pierre Balmain, Jacques Fath, and Hubert Givenchy as judges, Karl emerged winner for the best coat sketch.

Afterwards, Bailman offered Karl a job in his fashion house. He was there for three years, where he learned the tricks of the trade. At the age of 20, he moved to the fashion house owned by Jean Patou where he worked for a couple more years.

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Before long, he began working as a freelancer, providing his input for several design houses, which brought him the fast pace he preferred.

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By 1983, Lagerfeld was a fashion force to be reckoned with. It was around this time that he became the creative director and head designer for Chanel. He later created his own ready-to-wear line, which he named "Karl Lagerfeld." 

On how he was able to handle the many facets of his work, he once said:

When I do Fendi, I am another person from when I do Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, or KL. It's like being four people in one. Perhaps I have no personality at all, or perhaps I have more than one.

Apart from being a world-renowned fashion designer, he is also a photographer who has been credited with several fashion advertisements for both Chanel and House of Lagerfeld.

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Controversies

Lagerfeld was never a man who shied away from saying what he thought, and this meant there were a number of controversies surrounding this enigma at one point or another.

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His birthdate

One of the biggest head-scratchers, when it came to this man, began right from the moment he was born. He once claimed he was born in 1938 and later on, he insisted that no one knew his actual birth date, something he seemed to pride himself in at the time. In an interview, he was quoted as saying that he was "born neither in 1933 and 1938."

However, all the mystery and confusion soon came to an end when a birth announcement, published by his parents in 1933, was discovered. There was also a baptismal register in his hometown that listed 1933 as his year of birth. In addition, one of his teachers and classmate confirmed that he was, in fact, born in 1933. Despite all these, Lagerfield loudly and proudly celebrated his '70th birthday' in 2008, even though he would have been turning 75 at the time.

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PETA

Lagerfeld has never been secretive about his support for the use of fur in fashion. In 2011, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) hurled tofu pies at the designer during a fashion premiere in New York City. The organization referred to Lagerfeld as a designer dinosaur.

Apart from these, he has also been known to have some pretty controversial comments about certain people and topics. He once described the late American artist, Andy Warhol, as physically 'repulsive'. About the singer Adele, he said: "She is a little too fat, but she has a beautiful face and a divine voice." He even took a swipe at Pippa Middleton:

Kate Middleton has a nice silhouette. I like that kind of woman, I like romantic beauties. On the other hand, the sister struggles. I don’t like the sister’s face. She should only show her back.

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Love him or hate him, no one can say Lagerfeld did not make an impression in the fashion and design world. He is one of the most outspoken, albeit, talented creative artist of our time, and we just have to give him props for his undying dedication to the industry.

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