A Farewell to Karl Lagerfeld

Remembering One of the Most Prestigious Designers of the 21st Century

By: Valerie Gonzalez

Karl Lagerfeld surrounded by models. (Credit:

On February 19, one of the greatest designers of all time passed away. This is not a goodbye article about him—it’s a celebration of how lucky we were to see a beautiful mind in action. Karl Lagerfeld died at age 85 in Paris, France.

Lagerfeld was the creative director of Chanel and Fendi. He started working for Chanel at 36 years old. His vision was to revive Chanel without taking away its signature looks, which consisted of tweed skirt suits, little black dresses and handbags.

Lagerfeld’s vision was very pop-culture inspired and so, he worked his way to represent Coco’s vision of independence, freedom and modernity, adding more color and uniqueness to it with his pop-culture inspired collections. One of his quotes that will always be a positive reminder was to, “Continue to embrace the present and invent the future.”

He created six to eight collections for Chanel per year and was also creating collections for Fendi and his own line. His inspiration went farther than just clothes, but had also delved into created a complete “Art Show” for every single collection, from sets and runways to lighting. His art shows became one of the most memorable experiences for every person in the room.

With his all-time look of wearing dark sunglasses, black leather gloves and a white ponytail, Lagerfeld became an icon for the 21st century fashion world. “I am like a caricature of myself, and I like that.”

He had a very distinct way of thinking: his public opinions would always lead to a bigger controversy with comments like, “No one wants to see curvy women on the catwalk.” The way Lagerfeld expressed himself was always either inspiring or hurtful towards people.

So, in 2013 we had the pleasure to receive, “The World According to Karl” by Jean-Christophe Napias. Here, all his crazy opinions and quotations were collected.

Lagerfeld once said, “You have to live your life according to your ideas. Spend all your money and live life in line with what you are fighting for…”

Lagerfeld was an amazing photographer and director. He enjoyed working with cameras as much as he enjoyed working with fabrics and sketchbooks. He would plan every single detail about his own campaigns. “I am not like all those art directors now, who have 20 people sketching.

I do it all myself.” As a signature of uniqueness, he was apart of such campaigns.  

Lagerfeld had an inspiring way of working. He was never satisfied enough with a collection and would always find inspiration after every single show. He never stopped and wasn’t planning on doing so. “Ideas come to you when you work,” he said backstage before a Fendi show at age 83 to The New York Times.

The 21st Century has been remarkable in many ways, our technology and development of society will always be unforgettable, and so will be Karl Lagerfeld, not just because he changed our entire vision of women and fashion or because he was an amazing director, but because he found the precise amount of art that truly created fashion as we know it.

He expressed how important it was to state something meaningful with your designs.

Lagerfeld wasn’t just a designer, he was a professor that influenced our everyday lives and will be unforgettable for this generation and those to come.

Thank you, Karl. R.I.P

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