By Kate Lalic
Iconic white hair, black glasses and a high collar and at the age of 81, Karl Lagerfeld is a designer respected by the entire fashion industry. He is the head designer and creative director of Chanel, Fendi and his own fashion label.
It’s said that Karl Lagerfeld was destined to rule the empire that is Chanel. At the age of 20, he won 1st place at the International Wool Association and that was when he was noticed by many designers and couture houses. After he joined Chanel, he revived the brand and made it attain its elite status by adding the element of sophisticated glamour into the designs. As a designer, Lagerfeld was open to collaborations with a variety of artists and fashion brands and influenced many other designers after his famous collaboration with H&M.
The reason Karl Lagerfeld is so widely respected is because he treats his work like as if it is an art form, whereby he doesn’t follow the traditional boundaries or rules for each fashion season but instead he goes against the crowd and creates his own trends. Last year, he was very interested in trainers. Therefore, in his Chanel Couture Fashion Show, he paired tweed trainers with 40,000 English pound outfits! To top it off, this show took place in a supermarket styled show setting. His concept emerged from the fact that trainers are practical and comfortable and he very rarely sees models wearing stilettos outside of work. He says that sometimes the women we truly admire are less the ones on the catwalk and more the ones standing three feet away from us, doing normal things such as picking up groceries and hence the supermarket catwalk runway setup.
The designer’s latest inspiration for Fendi’s 2015 Fall Ready-to-Wear Collection is the ‘Palazzo Della Civilta Italiana’, fascist architecture that is Fendi’s new headquarters in Rome. It features large panels of leather with more straight and boxy cuts. The designer said that he wanted no element of romantic girly-ness which was seen in Fendi’s spring summer collection. He said the underlying mood of this collection is “pleasant aggressivity”.
Karl Lagerfeld’s own label is branded based on the man himself. His own label contains everything he would wear from detachable high collars to monotone suits in black and white. He doesn’t believe in external marketing solutions but instead he believes in the impact or the effect he can create as ‘Karl Lagerfeld’ himself. Just a month ago, it was announced that he is launching a kids wear collection in Spring 2016, for newborn children to 16 year olds, and this collection consists of clothing and accessories. He designs more than 17 collections a year and he says “If you like what you do, you don’t keep count (of the number of collections).”
The man of his calibre, in the fashion industry is yet to be found but until then Karl Lagerfeld remains seated on the throne as the King of Fashion Empire.