Karl Lagerfeld has died in Paris at the age of 85, according to sources close to the Chanel designer. Lagerfeld had been ill for several weeks and was absent for two of Chanel’s haute couture shows in Paris last month.
French magazine Paris Match reports that the iconic and controversial designer, who was Chanel’s creative director, was hospitalized on Monday night and passed away on Tuesday morning.
The exact cause of Lagerfeld’s death is not yet known, but concerns have surrounded his health for several weeks.
In a statement in January, following Lagerfeld’s absence, Chanel said the designer had been “feeling tired”, and that the fashion house had “asked Virginie Viard, director of the creative studio of the house, to represent him.” It was the first time he had not given a bow on the catwalk at the end of a Chanel show.
Best known for his signature outfit of a black suit, high collars, dark sunglasses and a white slicked back ponytail, fingerless gloves and dark glasses, Lagerfeld was no stranger to controversy. He famously described Adele as “a little too fat” in 2012, and caused outrage just last year for his comments on migrants.
Lagerfeld leaves behind his much-loved and Instagram-famous cat Choupette.
The fashion world has begun paying tribute to the legendary designer, with many describing him as a visionary.
The longest fashion journey ended today. Karl Lagerfeld has died, taking with him more than half a century of visionary fashion. A self-taught master, he referred to himself as a “complete improvisation.” He was a liberated and creative spirit who followed only his instincts, which never failed him. Rare are those who succeed in infusing such imagination and panache into their work. The icon will be remembered for his formidable humor, his talent for mastering languages other than fashion and for being a straight talker. “I do not want to be a reality in the lives of others,” he once said, “I want to be like an apparition, that appears and then disappears.” Picture by Hedi Slimane.
A post shared by Vogue Paris (@vogueparis) on Feb 19, 2019 at 3:48am PST
Karl Lagerfeld, the most prolific designer of the 20th and 21st centuries, the definition of a fashion polyglot, and the mastermind of his own myth, has died. He was 85. We will not see his like again – https://t.co/vqYVIPWp4I
— Vanessa Friedman (@VVFriedman) February 19, 2019
A post shared by carlynecerfdedudzeele #CCD (@carlynecerfdedudzeele) on Feb 19, 2019 at 4:17am PST
Rest in peace, Karl. I remember being so scared to interview you and yet you were in fact incredibly witty and generous. Thank you for inviting me to some of the most glamorous experiences of my life, it was an honour to know you. Oh yeah and thanks for the dry shampoo tip, will always think of you as I powder my wig. ❤️
A post shared by Alexa Chung (@alexachung) on Feb 19, 2019 at 3:59am PST
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