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German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, considered one of the most prolific and well-known figures of his respective field, passed away. He was 85, and was in Paris at the time of his passing. It follows a short-lived illness and a brief hospital stay that the pop culture fixture endured before his death.
BBC notes that Karl Lagerfeld was noticeably absent from several high-profile events, including the spring/summer show from Chanel, due to illness. The hospital visit on Monday night, therefore, followed a bout of sickness that ultimately cost him his life. It was earlier this morning that Lagerfeld was pronounced dead. Known for his influence in the fashion field for the likes of Chanel and Fendi, the loss is most certainly a grave one for many people. It should also be noted that Virginie Viard will succeed Lagerfeld as creative chief of Chanel. Viard was once Lagerfeld's deputy at the fashion house.
Among those celebrities and high-standing figures of fashion who expressed sorrow at the passing of Karl Lagerfeld is Anna Wintour, the iconic editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine. In a statement, she kept things short-but-sweet, recognizing what an incredible loss was found earlier today in Paris.
Today the world lost a giant among men. 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.
Additionally, Donatella Versace said Karl Lagerfeld was a genius who "touched so many" with his work and influence in his respective field. Alan Wertheimer, Chanel's Chief Executive, also chimed in to claim his "creative genius, generosity, and exceptional intuition" allowed Lagerfeld to be "ahead of his time" and a pioneer of sorts in the world of high fashion. Wertheimer said Lagerfeld made an indelible influence on the House of Chanel. Additionally, there were also tributes made by Bella and Gigi Hadid, Diane Kruger, Victoria Beckham, and more as the news spreads across the globe.
Karl Lagerfeld rose to prominence in the 1960s first when he became a design assistant for Pierre Balmain and then when he worked for Fendi and Chloe. But it was -- and will be -- his association with Chanel that will likely define his legacy. He began his work with the company in the early '80s, nearly a decade after the passing of the company's namesake, Coco Chanel. He helped renew the label after a point of tragedy, adding spark and a fuse of creativity to the company when such qualities were ultimately of necessity. Lagerfeld continued to work religiously until his final weeks of life.
Before his fashion and influence in the field, Karl Lagerfeld was known for his own signature look, which included a long ponytail and dark glasses, which made him an easily recognizable figure in the fashion industry -- something that can't often be said about many people in that competitive world. Additionally, Lagerfeld is remembered for his wit and his proactivity in addition to his productivity. He made controversial statements, notably of late.
But when it came to his appearance, Karl Lagerfeld had the following to say about his look.
I am like a caricature of myself, and I like that.
Condolences are expressed to Karl Lagerfeld's friends and loved ones at this time.