Chanel fashion designer, Karl Lagerfeld, dead at 85

Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld has died, aged 85, in Paris following a short illness.

The German designer, who was the creative director for Chanel and Fendi, was one of the industry’s most prolific figures and worked up until his death.

His signature ponytail and dark glasses made him an instantly recognisable figure around the world.

Industry heavyweights, including Italian designer Donatella Versace, have issued heartfelt tributes.

“Today the world lost a giant among men,” the editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, Anna Wintour, said in a statement.

Rumours of Lagerfeld’s ill health had swirled for several weeks after he missed a number of events – including Chanel’s spring/summer show in January.

He died on 19 February after being admitted to hospital the night before, French media report.

As a designer he transformed the fortunes of Chanel, one of the leading names in high fashion, but his work also filtered down to the high street.

Away from his work, Lagerfeld made headlines for a range of provocative, and sometimes offensive, statements.

Members of the fashion industry have been lining up to praise Lagerfeld’s work.

Donatella Versace said his genius had “touched so many” and was a source of inspiration for her and her late brother.

Anna Wintour described the designer’s “creative genius” as “breathtaking”.

“Karl was brilliant, he was wicked, he was funny, he was generous beyond measure, and he was deeply kind. I will miss him so very much,” her statement went on.

Chanel’s Chief Executive Alain Wertheimer credited Lagerfeld for transforming the brand since he joined in 1983.

“Thanks to his creative genius, generosity and exceptional intuition, Karl Lagerfeld was ahead of his time, which widely contributed to the House of Chanel’s success throughout the world,” he said in a statement.

It has been announced that Virginie Viard, his deputy at fashion house Chanel, will succeed him as creative chief.

Pier Paolo Righi, his own fashion brand’s CEO, described him as a “creative genius”.

“He leaves behind an extraordinary legacy as one of the greatest designers of our time,” a statement from the House of Karl Lagerfeld said.

Celebrities including Victoria Beckham, actress Diane Kruger and models Gigi and Bella Hadid have also paid tribute.

TNT Fashion

Photo Credit: Global Panorama

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