Unbelievable. Indefatigable. One of a kind.
These are but a few descriptors that have been used to refer to Karl Lagerfeld and, while they might sound like hyperbole, a quick glance at his CV will convince you otherwise. First, the Kaiser conceptualizes and executes – without a doubt – the grandest sets in all of fashiondom. Let’s revisit a few.
There was the supermarket set stocked with hundreds of Chanel-branded products for Fall/Winter 2014, the imitation Parisian street that he filled with a model army holding signs bearing feminist slogans in replication of a human rights protest for Spring/Summer 2015, and the airline terminal that he created for Spring/Summer 2016. And let’s not forget the enormous rocket that actually “launched” inside the Grand Palais for Fall/Winter 2017.
Oh, but that’s not all. In addition to Lagerfeld’s theatrical staging, his seven annual collections for Chanel are massive (often containing between 70 and 100 original looks) and finished down to the most minute details, each carried out by the many professional ateliers acquired by Lagerfeld during his tenure at the iconic fashion house. Furthermore, he does five collections for Fendi each year in addition to overseeing an eponymous fashion line. Somewhere in there, he’s also a photographer, videographer, author, and devoted cat dad.
Suffice to say, there’s never been a fashion designer like Lagerfeld before, and there never will be again. He turns 84 today, yet shows no sign of slowing down. If anything, he increases his output year after year. In fact, Lagerfeld is so unique that, back in 2015, scientists actually requested to study his DNA in order to find out how he does it – or perhaps discover the secret elixir to genius and long life.
By all accounts, Lagerfeld is an impossible formula of a man, a towering and mythological figure so unbelievable that we wouldn’t at all be surprised to find a robot body underneath his immaculately tailored Dior suit.