Karl Lagerfeld was born in 1933 in Hamburg, Germany, although he used to claim he was younger.
As a child, Lagerfeld was very interested in visual arts and was always drawing in school. He liked to visit museums, especially the Kunsthalle Hamburg Museum, and was inspired by the French artists. Following this interest in French culture, he moved from Hamburg to Paris, France, and finished secondary school there.
In 1955, the designer won International Wool Secretariat's coat design contest. There, he got to know Yves Saint Laurent and was soon hired as Pierre Balmain's assistant.
In 1958, Lagerfeld landed the creative director position at Jean Patou. From 1964 to 1967, he lived in Rome, Italy, working for Tiziano and studying art history. During this time, he designed freelance for Valentino, Chloé, Charles Jourdan, and Krizia.
In 1967, he was hired by Fendi to work on its fur collection. His innovative designs brought the brand to new heights. In 1983, Lagerfeld was also hired by Chanel, which was a great success for the luxury fashion house. In 1984, the "Karl Lagerfeld" brand came to life and was said to show "intellectual sexiness".
One of the most interesting moments of the designer’s career occurred at Fendi's fashion show in 1993 in Milan, where Lagerfeld employed porn star Moana Pozzi, surrounded by strippers, to walk on the runway in Fendi's black-and-white luxury collection. Anna Wintour, the US Vogue editor-in-chief, walked out of the show before its ending.
Lagerfeld remained the main designer for the two fashion houses Fendi and Chanel until his death in February 2019 from pancreatic cancer complications (at the age of 85 years).
Watch Karl Lagerfeld speaking about his Spring/Summer Collection 2014
Watch Chanel's Fall/Winter 2019/2020 Show by Karl Lagerfeld