Karl Lagerfield pronounced dead at the age of 85

Wednesday, 20 Feb, 2019

Karl Lagerfeld, creative director for Chanel and Fendi, has passed away at the age of 85.

The fashion mogul and Chanel director is credited for the brand's resurgence in the 80s, and was known for his own iconic look.

The cause of his death is yet to be released. In 2013, Lagerfeld told French magazine "Paris Match" he was born in 1935, but in 2019 his assistant still didn't know the truth - telling AP he liked "to scramble the tracks on his year of birth - that's part of the character".

"When people talk about the good old days, I say to people, 'It's not the days that are old, it's you that's old.' I hate the good old days".

His decision to helm Chanel, founded by Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, turned him into one of the most celebrated fashion designers of the 20th century. "Finally, one can not refer to Karl Lagerfeld without mentioning his innate sense of repartee and self-mockery".

He cut a striking figure wearing a distinctive ensemble of crisp white, high-collared shirts with black tailored jacket and jeans, punctuated with a tie, shades, fingerless gloves and black boots.

As the years went by, Lagerfeld assembled his own alternative jet-set "family" comprised of his male and female muses including U.S. model Brad Kroenig, whose son Hudson - Lagerfeld's godson - became a fixture of the Chanel catwalk.

"I design like I breathe, you don't ask to breathe-it just happens", Lagerfeld once said when describing his personal artistic process, according to his own brand's website. Lagerfeld kept Viard at his side during his creative director stint at the French fashion house Chloé between 1992 and 1997. I'm lucky to work in the most ideal of conditions. We owe him a great deal: "his taste and talent were the most exceptional I have ever known".

"Fashion and culture have lost a major inspiration".

Karl Lagerfeld at work on Chloe designs in his atelier in Paris in 1977.

"The death of this dear friend deeply saddens me, my wife and my children".

But it was Chanel that propelled him to rock-star status, as he sexed up the brand and lifted its profile with grandiose runway shows.

Lagerfeld also started his own label, Karl Lagerfeld, which though less commercially successful than his other ventures, was widely seen as a sketchpad where the designer worked through his ideas.