Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has passed away, aged 85. The creative director of the French fashion icon Chanel had been ill for a while. Chanel meanwhile wasted no time appointing a successor.
35 years at Chanel
Lagerfeld was born in Hamburg, Germany, but moved to Paris at an early age to pursue his dreams in fashion. After a few years as a freelancer, he started working for fashion companies Fendi and Chloé.
In 1974, Lagerfeld founded an eponymous fashion label that often featured his beloved cat Choupette and his own external features (silver hair and dark sunglasses). Nine years later he started at the then ailing company Chanel, which he saved from bankruptcy and gave new life. In 1989 he selected Claudia Schiffer to model for Chanel, a move that made the stars of the model and the company soar.
Lagerfeld had been ill for a while: last month, he stayed away from his traditional show at the Paris Fashion Week, claiming he felt tired. It was the first time he did not greet the public from the catwalk after a show. On Monday evening he was rushed to a hospital, where he died on Tuesday morning.
Chanel did not wait long to appoint a successor: Virginie Viard was the one to take the applause at January's fashion show and now definitively takes over the reign from her old mentor.