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Karl Lagerfeld

Updated on March 23, 2017

Karl Lagerfeld Chanel House Head Designer

Born Karl Otto Lagerfeldt, Karl Lagerfeld is a fashion designer from Germany, as well as a Paris-based photographer and artist. He has collaborations on a broad spectrum of fashion projects and those related to art. He is most known as the creative director and head designer for the Chanel fashion house. He also has the Italian house of Fendi as well as his own label fashion houses.

Early Years

Born in Hamburg, Lagerfeld was born to Otto and Elisabeth Lagerfeldt from Sweden. Having grown up as a wealthy Hamburg businessman’s son, Lagerfeld's father had introduced condensed milk to Germany. His mother is from Berlin.

Lagerfeld finished secondary education at the Paris Lycee Montaigne majoring in history and in drawing after attending private school.
Lagerfeld launched himself as a designer who was freelance, working with supermarket chain Monoprix, Repetto and Mario Valentino.

Backed financially by his family, he later set up a small Paris shop. During this time, he would consult with Armenian fortune teller of Christian Dior, Madame Zereakian. He claims that she said that he would succeed in perfume and fashion.

He later began designing a couture hours in Rome Tiziani founded by Eva Richards of Texas. It started as a couture hours and became ready to wear (RTW) bearing the TizianiRoma label. Lagerfeld and Richards together sketched the nineteen sixty-three collection and when they came up with ninety outfits, Tiziani borrowed Harry Winston's jewels of Catherine the Great and gave out invitations.

Lagerfeld designed for this company until nineteen sixty nine. One of the label's fans was Elizabeth Taylor who started wearing the label in '66. Prinicipessa Borghese, Doris Duke and Gina Lollobrigida were also clients when the line was being designed by Lagerfeld.

1972 Fendi Collaborations

In the year nineteen seventy two, he started collaborating with Fendi, the Italian fashion house and designed accessories, clothing and furs. Beginning in the seventies, Lagerfeld sometimes worked designing costumes for theater productions.

Directors of the stage such as Jurgen Flimm and Luca Ronconi were people he had collaborations with. He designed for Milan's La Scala Theater, Vienna's Burgtheater and the Festival Salzburg.

Isetan Japanese Brand


Lagerfeld was had also maintained contracts with the Isetan Japanese firm creating women's and men's collections through thirty licenses. He had a USA lingerie line produced by Eve Stillmann and was a Charles Jourdan shoe designer, Ballantyne sweaters and was the fashion adviser for Trevira.


Lagerfeld had also designed Carmen sequence costumes for the Callas Forever 2002 film, and had designed outfits for Madonna's international music for her tour Re-Invention. Recently, Kylie Minogue's Showgirl tour featured outfits designed by him.


In two thousand ten the Fashion Institute of Technology's Couture Council of The Museum awarded Lagerfeld at a New York benefit luncheon with the award created for him called "The Couture Council Visionary Award."

Orrefors by Karl Lagerfeld


In two thousand eleven, the first collection of Orrefors Swedish crystal manufacturer and Lagerfeld announced collaborations for crystal art collections designing. The name of the first collection launched was "Orrefors by Karl Lagerfeld."


An international frenzy was also created by Lagerfeld when he stated Adele the singer from the UK was "a little too fat" on the ninth of February 2012, and Adele said she was like most women and was proud of this fact.

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