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After over fifty years of legendary work in the fashion industry, designer Karl Lagerfeld died today in Paris at the age of 85.

Lagerfeld was known mainly for his famed work at Chanel, for which he was named creative director in 1983; and Fendi, for which he was named creative director in 1965.

Within his work during the twentieth and twenty first centuries, Lagerfeld was known for breathing new life into the fashion industry, and for pushing the limits of creativity season after season.

Prior to being named creative director for Chanel, Lagerfeld told The New York Times he welcomed the difficult task of reimagining the, then, tired label.

“Chanel is the only couture house that I would be interested in updating,” he said. “It’s the only one that could be modern. It’s a challenge. I like the idea.”

Lagerfeld was known for breathing new life into the fashion industry, and for pushing the limits of creativity season after season.

Lagerfeld founded his own fashion house in 1984. His self-titled label is known for its sophisticated colors and premiere tailoring. Upon founding the label, Lagerfeld described the label’s concept as, “intellectual sexiness.”

Up until his death, Lagerfeld was designing about 14 new collections a year, while working on various special projects that included designing luxury hotel suites in Paris, designing glassware collections and shooting every single Chanel campaign himself.

Born in Hamburg, Germany in September of 1933, it was clear from the very beginning Lagerfeld was destined to be a fashion icon. He got his start in the industry at the young age of 17 as Pierre Balmain’s assistant in Paris, and then went on to be named art director for Jean Patou just three years later.

Lagerfeld continued to strive in the industry by becoming one of the first fashion freelancers during the ‘60s with his work in countries all over Europe. Since then, his work has captivated an entire industry and redefined the rules of style.

Up until his death, Lagerfeld was designing about 14 new collections a year, while working on various special projects that included designing luxury hotel suites in Paris, designing glassware collections and shooting every single Chanel campaign himself.

After news of his untimely death spread, members of the fashion industry took to the internet to share their own tributes. Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue, described Lagerfeld as much more than the industry’s leading designer, but a lifelong friend as well.

“Today the world lost a giant among men. Karl was so much more than our greatest and most prolific designer—his creative genius was breathtaking and to be his friend was an exceptional gift,” she wrote for Vogue. “Karl was brilliant, he was wicked, he was funny, he was generous beyond measure, and he was deeply kind. I will miss him so very much.”

Lagerfeld’s death comes exactly two weeks before Chanel’s fall 2019 ready-to-wear collection is set to show during Paris Fashion Week. Signs of his declining health were shown during Chanel’s 2019 Spring Summer Haute Couture show, when fashion studio director Virginie Viard walked out in Lagerfeld’s place after the show. It has since been reported that Viard will succeed Lagerfeld as creative director of Chanel.

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