This morning like other Tuesday mornings I had trouble waking up. I was woken up by the rhythmic sound of rain hitting my window. I woke up with a heavy heart. I got up, grabbed my phone and unlocked it to read my notifications.
“Karl Lagerfeld, prolific designer has passed away at age 85”.
I couldn’t believe my eyes, I didn’t want to; this was not happening - I told myself over and over again. Lagerfeld has still so much to give. Atlas, I saw all of the iconic pictures of him. Designers , editors , creative directors posting about him. My friends and I posting obsessively on Instagram stories. As if we had the pleasure of meeting the titan. But we did, we all had a different connection to Karl, that was and still is the magic of him. Today Karl has become a deity of fashion.“More than anyone I know, he represents the soul of fashion: restless, forward-looking and voraciously attentive to our changing culture,” Anna Wintour, editor of American Vogue, said of Mr. Lagerfeld.
Born in Hamburg, Lagerfeld got his start in the industry after winning a coat design competition in 1955. This earned him a design role at Balmain. In coming years, he would revolutionize label after label. Credited with rescuing Chanel, he secured the house's reputation as the untouchable paragon it is today.
The fashion world is in mourning cherishing the self made master and orchestrator of his own
destiny. “I don’t want to be real in other people’s lives. I want to be an apparition.” said Lagerfeld.
My relationship to fashion began to grow at the age of 11 as I was enchanted by the history of Coco Chanel. I would read her biography like if it was a fairytale. It was filled with gems, pearls and little black dresses. She was her own heroine in her story. Coco Chanel was a queen by her own merit. That is how I came across to the Kaiser as he is often called. His white almost translucent hair and dark sunglasses enraptured me. Like Coco, he was a character; 12 years ago in my eyes he seemed other worldly.
Karl Lagerfeld was a new type of designer. He was a shape-shifter. Lagerfeld reinvented Fendi, woke up the sleeping dragon that was Chanel in the 80’s. Started his own eponymous brand that is now owned by long time friend Sèbastien Jondeau. His creative force was so substantial that he could rebrand anything. His meticulous attention to detail and devotion for fashion have made him what he is today. One of the last creative directors to sketch by hand. Combining the masculinity with femininity were in Chanel’s DNA but KL made it modern, romantic, whimsical, edgy and cool. It’s difficult to describe the colossal legacy he leaves behind. Karl’s creativity has forever touched fashion enthusiasts’ souls forever. I consider myself lucky to have had the privilege to witness the Karl Lagerfeld era. Rest in peace, Karl , you have gifted us so much knowledge and beauty and for that we are eternally grateful.
With love, farewell