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Karl Lagerfeld – King of Chanel and a life like no other!

Young Karl Lagerfeld

On the morning of February 19, the creative director of high-end fashion brand Chanel Karl Lagerfeld passed away from a serious illness. Dubbed the “second soul” of Chanel, his departure was a big shock to not only Chanel but also to the fashion industry in the world.

What is a human being who has been able to grieve like that? Let’s find out through the following article!

Childhood and aesthetic eyes are different

Although everyone knows he is a monument to Chanel, his childhood is rarely known. Karl Lagerfeld is often very quiet when talking about his childhood, even, in 2009, he declared that no one knows his real date of birth. The designer’s official website says he was born in 1938. However, it is believed that he was actually born on September 10, 1933, in a German village after discovering a written birth certificate by his parents.

Growing up in the German countryside, he never felt satisfied with life here, on the contrary, he always fantasized about big cities and urban prosperity. Later, he decided to leave his homeland and go to France – the country of romance – to pursue his dream.

Young Karl Lagerfeld
Young Karl Lagerfeld

Many people believe that his fashion influence came from the German aristocracy when before, he lived in the Blankenese district of Hamburg – the famous dining area of ​​the rich. Indeed, his aesthetic eyes have been clearly shown even at a young age.

Compared to his classmates, he is always the most outstanding person with a different fashion sense. One of his inspirations now is his mother – Mrs. Elisabeth Lagerfeldt. She is known to be a discerning woman, possessing an impressive collection of perfumes and clothing.

Later, Karl moved to Paris (France) to study at a private school to study fine arts. Not long after, he made his name on the fashion world map.

Way of fame

The milestone that marked his fashion career was a design competition in 1954, shortly after he arrived in Paris. At this contest, the judges are none other than the two famous designers Pierre Balmain and Hubert de Givenchy. At the age of 21, young Karl has excellently won with his special jacket with his friend Yves-Saint Laurent. It was this contest that helped Karl win the position of assistant to Pierre Balmain a year later.

After 3 years working for Balmain, he moved on to work as an assistant to Jean Patou. At the same time, he launched his first fashion collection. However, with all the difficult beginnings, this collection has made no mark in the world. Not only that, some newspapers do not regret criticizing his collection, calling it a failure of the fashion industry. But with his resilient personality, he is still diligently working for several major brands including Mario Valentino, Repetto and Tiziani.

In 1965, he began to collaborate with Fendi to design a number of clothing models and accessory lines. At the same time, he also designed a few seasonal fashion designs for the famous designer Chloé. After realizing Karl’s outstanding talent, Chloé let him take over the entire design part of his collections. Among them, the most classic collection that he ever collaborated with Chloé was the Spring-Summer collection in 1973. Many newspapers have given winged compliments like “class”, “this is the time premium page for this collection.

Since the mid-70s, he has made a name for himself in the world fashion industry.

Chanel’s “second soul”

In the early 80’s, he had forged himself an unmistakable look to anyone with ponytail, sunglasses and eighteenth century fashions.

In 1983, he was given the opportunity to work for Chanel fashion brand. This is a new step in his life and makes him one of the most powerful people in the fashion industry today.

This is the time when the founder of the brand Coco Chanel passed away for 12 years. At this time, Chanel faced many difficulties, almost unable to revive. Perhaps no one was brave enough to accept a job at such a near-dead brand, only Karl could make such a risky decision. “Everyone advised me not to work at Chanel. Everyone thought the brand would end here,” he once said in an interview.

Coming to Chanel, he completely changed this brand, blowing a new wind to the fashion brand that seemed irreversible. His first high-end spring/summer luxury collection at Chanel immediately caught the attention of everyone in the fashion world. Inspired by the classic look of the 1920s and 1930s, the collection combines wide-lapel coats and ruffled robes, most prominently in this collection is wool.

Becoming creative director, he brought in a much-needed and gradually recognized refurbishment. Many risky decisions were made by him in the face of the “semi-distrustful” of many people. They said that he does not have a certain style, does not have his own mark. However, it was his fashion flexibility that revived a fashion company that seemed to be dead like Chanel at that time. “In order to survive, all must change,” said the German designer.

Not only designing out-of-date outfits, King Chanel also attracts attention with creative fashion shows. He turned the boring runway into a flexible playground for Chanel models. In Havana (Cuba), he held a star-studded catwalk for the first time, overwhelming all the guests present.

Magnificent catwalk of Chanel in Havana (Cuba)
Magnificent catwalk of Chanel in Havana (Cuba)

Not stopping at Chanel, he continued to launch his own fashion brand in 1984. With this brand, he said he wanted to aim for sexiness in mind.

The lonely life of a prince

Karl Lagerfeld never concealed about his sexual orientation. In an interview, he said: “Since ancient times, my mother has had a very modern mindset. She told me that, consider sex as hair, with blond hair, yes. Black-haired people. All are very normal things. It is this point of view that is ingrained in Karl’s mind, making him always open up when talking about his homosexuality.

Throughout his life, apart from fashion, Karl also made the press spend a lot of ink with his love affairs. In the 70s, when Karl and Yves Saint Laurent were friends, both kept an eye on the aristocrat Jacques de Bascher. Karl once confessed that he loved Bascher very much but was rejected, the Bascher chose to be his friend – the designer Yves Saint Laurent. Since then, the two have been determined not only in love but also in the marketplace.

Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent
Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent

After this rejected love, Karl continued to date many other guys, including male model Brad Kroenig, Baptiste Giabiconi. Even, it was discovered that Giabiconi had tattooed the first day of meeting King of Chanel right at the place near his heart.

Despite having many sex partners, designers still feel lonely. He likes to be alone with his pet – the cat named Choupette. Talking about his cat girl, he joked that he would marry her if he could. In addition to working time, he spends most of his rest at his Paris apartment. For him, this is the most comfortable time when not being disturbed by the noise outside the wall.

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