Despite fielding the question of his retirement hundreds of times throughout his career, Karl Lagerfeld swore he would never retire. Ever. And he kept that promise. As the designer behind Chanel, Fendi, and his own eponymous until the day he died, Lagerfeld is renowned as the world’s most prodigious and tireless designer. It can even be argued that he is fashion’s most famous designer in history, having made an indelible mark on the industry that will be remembered for many generations to come. His impressive body of work over the past 65 years, his immense contributions to culture, and his larger-than-life personality will not be soon forgotten.
In Savoir Flair’s retrospective, we take a look at Lagerfeld’s life in pictures, from his start in 1954 winning the International Woolmark Prize for coat design to his journeys through houses like Jean Patou, Chloé, Chanel, and Fendi, as well as other moments from his long career. Take a look below.
1954: Karl Lagerfeld at the International Woolmark Prize competition, his first official foray into fashion.
1970: Karl Lagerfeld with his muse Pat Cleveland and frequent collaborator Antonio Lopez.
1973: Karl Lagerfeld as shot by legendary photographer Helmut Newton
1974: Karl Lagerfeld with a model wearing one of his Chloé designs
1983: Karl Lagerfeld during his last year of tenure at Chloé before taking the reins at Chanel
1984: Karl Lagerfeld poses with models from the Chanel Couture Fall 1995 show
1990: Karl Lagerfeld walks the runway for the Chanel Couture Fall 1991 show
1992: Karl Lagerfeld posing with models from the Chanel Couture Fall 1993 show
1993: Karl Lagerfeld posing with all of the Fendi sisters in Milan
1994: Karl Lagerfeld during the Chanel Fall/Winter 1994 finale
2004: Karl Lagerfeld walks the finale of the Chanel Spring/Summer 2005 show in Tokyo
2013: Karl Lagerfeld leads a fashionable protest for his Spring/Summer 2014 show
2014: Karl Lagerfeld with actress and Chanel brand ambassador, Kristen Stewart
2014: Karl Lagerfeld with godson Hudson Kroenig, and model Cara Delevingne at the Chanel Spring 2014 Couture show
2015: Karl Lagerfeld with Silvia Venturini Fendi at the Fendi Spring/Summer 2016 show
2018: Karl Lagerfeld with Bella Hadid at Dior Homme’s Fall/Winter 2018 show
2018: Karl Lagerfeld in one of his final finale walks, for Chanel Fall 2019 Couture