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Karl Lagerfeld



Since the age of seven he dreamt to be an illustrator, a cartoon artist and a portrait painter1. In fact he has become the equivalence factor of “the designer of the 21st century” in the dictionary. He also moved behind the lens to shoot his own campaigns, created illustrations and started publishing. He may not seem to manage to accomplish his childhood dream but furthering it to something very special with his one of a kind vision, extraordinary talent and a forward looking approach.

Karl Lagerfeld, the most prolific designer of the last five decades, a man who is a force of nature, “the emoji” for the description of a designer, who cleared the way strong enough for new young designers, passed away February 19, in Paris, at the age of 85.

He always loved and admitted to being like a caricature as he depicted this like a “Venetian Mask Ball” that exiles all year around. Regardless of being a fashionista or not, he was engraved in almost everyone’s memory with his dark glasses, iconic ponytail, all-time black outfit, and fingerless gloves.

He described himself as Joan of Arc of design and always did what his inner voice tells him. The man with the sketch pad was brought in charge of House of Fendi in the mid-1960s to transform the brand from a boring fur company to a complete fashion house. After that, he was named the art director of House of Chanel in 1983. The goal was not the same but the approach was. He had become the captain of a heritage brand which needed to be revived with a touch of today and a dose of pop culture. This contribution was not about creating something new, as most of the designers and brands do, it was more about to give the house “the kiss of life”. The kiss of life of a House whose revenues said to be more than 4 billion USD a year today.

In 1984, he created his own fashion house, KARL LAGERFELD while his collaborations with Fendi and Chanel remained the same. If we have to rephrase these collaborations, it is not wrong to say that he had made a lifetime contract with them. It was obvious that he had no intention of stopping, he was literally unstoppable. This is the clearest cut example of a man who is in his 80’s, who holds the rope at both hands, relentlessly, still tries to design new collections from a variety of ranges from couture to high street.

Karl was born in Germany with a name of “Karl Otto Lagerfeldt” but changed his name to Lagerfeld as he thought it was more commercial. He traveled to Paris when he was a teenager, he never attended art school or ever get a fashion degree. He started his career as Balmain’s assistant when he was 17. At the age of 20 he entered a fashion competition and won “the coat” category while Yves Saint Laurent, also a young designer at that time, won in “the dress” in the very same showdown. His beloved Birman cat, Choupette, a divine pampered creature, has its own cult with 304K followers under the nickname of @choupettesdiary. Allegedly, she has two maids, a bodyguard and many diamond necklaces.

Karl Lagerfeld was really one of a kind. His one great fear was being bored as he was saying, he always worked with instinct and even surprised himself.

What a character, personality and presence…

His Turkish audience was fortunate enough to meet with his very own designs under his label, KARL LAGERFELD, at Brandroom Courtyard, located at Nisantasi district of Istanbul, opened in 2014. As many high-end brands’ preference, arcoglobal executed the fit out and helped the brand meet with its followers in Turkey.

Source1: “Karl Lagerfeld Lived with No Regrets”, Elle (September 2007)
Source2:, Türkçe Haberler, “Karl Lagerfeld kimdir?: 85 yaşında ölen moda dünyasının ikonu”, (19.02.19)
Source3:, “Karl Lagerfeld: I am the Joan of Arc of design, (14.10.2015)