Born in 1933 in Hamburg, Karl Lagerfeld is a German artist, fashion designer and photographer residing in Paris. Lagerfeld insisted that there is no evidence for his actual birth date, in an interview in 2009. There has been much debate on this.
Lagerfeld grew up in a wealthy family and this is the reason that protected him from the scarcity of World War II. After completing his education from a private school, Lagerfeld attended Lycee Montaigne in Paris, for secondary schooling, where his major was history and drawing.
Pierre Balmain, a French fashion designer, hired Lagerfeld as an assistant after he won a design competition in 1955. Three years later, he designed two high sewing collections for Jean Patou. A presentation of two hours in July 1958 displayed Lagerfeld’s first collection. Unfortunately, it received much criticism from the audience, as reported by Carrie Donovan, a Fashion Editor. It was considered that his collections were not anything innovative. Moving on, Lagerfeld, from 1963 to 1969, designed for a Roman fashion boutique, Tiziani, founded by Evan Richards. Elizabeth Taylor admired the label and started wearing it in 1966, August. Apart from her, Doris Duke (art collector), Principessa Borghese and Gina Lollobrigida ( Italian actress, sculptor and photojournalist) also wore the line.
Later, Karl Lagerfeld began freelancing for Chloé, French fashion store in 1964. Then, after six years, he started designing in collaboration with Curiel (Roman Haute Couture). He received praise for his Chloé collection for spring in 1972. During this year, he worked jointly with Fendi, crafting clothes and accessories. So, from the start of 1970’s, Lagerfeld kept working for theatrical productions and stage directors as a costume designer.
After the 1980’s, the designer cum photographer received international recognition. He signed a contract with Isetan, a Japanese firm, to create collections for men and women both. He designed sweater for Ballantyne and shoes for Charles Jourdon. Lagerfeld also worked as a fashion advisor for Trevira. Karl Lagerfeld, in 2002, worked together with Diesel and Renzo Rosso on a collection, titled Lagerfeld Gallery. The line was a ‘hit’ in New York – 90% trousers were sold out in just a week.
In addition, Lagerfeld designed costumes for the film Callas Forever (2002). Afterwards, he designed outfits for Madonna and lately did the same for Kylie Minogue, for their respective tours. The designer teamed up with H&M, a Swedish style brand and displayed clothes in different outlets, in November 2004, and all were sold out.
Karl Lagerfeld is a photographer as well, he produced a series of pictures of nude models and celebrities. He also photographed Mariah Carey for V magazine’s cover in 2005. In the same year, he also participated in a French reality show called Signé Chanel, that aired in United States on Sundance Channel in 2006. In December, he launched a new collection of t-shirts and jeans, called K Karl Lagerfeld. By 2008, Lagerfeld became visible on souvenirs.
In 2010, Lagerfeld received “The Couture Council Fashion Visionary Award” at the Fashion Institute of Technology. He also coproduced a crystal art collection with Orrefors, and the initial collection was launched in 2011. A year later, Karl Lagerfeld showed off his Paris apartment in Architectural Digest (the French issue). This multi-talented man also directed Once Upon a Time, a short film in Saint Denis, in 2013.
Lagerfeld has worked for advertising campaigns for Fendi, Chanel and his eponymous brand, every now and then . In a collaboration with Dubai Infinity Holdings (DIH), this brilliant artist is set to build limited edition houses on Isla Moda, world’s first island of fashion.