Lagerfeld, Karl

Lagerfeld, Karl (Karl Otto Lagerfeld), 1938–, German fashion designer, b. Hamburg, immigrated with his family to Paris in 1952. He won a fashion award at 16, designed for couturiers Pierre Balmain (1954–58) and Jean Patou (1958–63), then freelanced for Fendi, Krizia, and Valentino and designed for Chloé (1959–78 1992–97). In 1982 he was appointed head designer at Chanel, where he revamped the classic Chanel suit into chic updated versions, using offbeat colors and such materials as denim and leather reinvented the double C logo accessorized with heaps of gold chain and pearls and added such items as mini- and maxiskirts, hot pants, and lace-up biker boots to the house repertoire. The pony-tailed, sunglassed, fan-carrying Lagerfeld also has his own KL label (launched in 1984). His lines include neckties, shoes, perfumes, sunglasses, jewelry, and housewares. He is a skilled photographer as well, with several published volumes.

See his Karl Lagerfeld's Sketchbook (1986) A. Piaggi, Karl Lagerfeld: A Fashion Journal (1986) A. Drake, The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris (2006).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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