Chanel Designer Karl Lagerfeld Dies Aged 85

Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld has died, aged 85.

The fashion house confirmed the sad news in a statement shared on Tuesday, 19th February, after french news outlets reported the designer had died earlier in the day.

Chanel's statement read: "It is with deep sadness that the House of CHANEL announces the passing of Karl Lagerfeld, the Creative Director for the CHANEL Fashion House since 1983.

Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

"An extraordinary creative individual, Karl Lagerfeld reinvented the brand's codes created by Gabrielle Chanel: the CHANEL jacket and suit, the little black dress, the precious tweeds, the two-tone shoes, the quilted handbags, the pearls and costume jewellery. Regarding Gabrielle Chanel, he said, "My job is not to do what she did, but what she would have done. The good thing about Chanel is it is an idea you can adapt to many things."."

Alain Wertheimer, CEO of Chanel, said: "Thanks to his creative genius, generosity and exceptional intuition, Karl Lagerfeld was ahead of his time, which widely contributed to the House of CHANEL's success throughout the world. Today, not only have I lost a friend, but we have all lost an extraordinary creative mind to whom I gave carte blanche in the early 1980s to reinvent the brand."

Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Fashion at Chanel, said: "Fashion show after fashion show, collection after collection, Karl Lagerfeld left his mark on the legend of Gabrielle Chanel and the history of the House of CHANEL. He steadfastly promoted the talent and expertise of CHANEL's ateliers and Métiers d'Art, allowing this exceptional know-how to shine throughout the world. The greatest tribute we can pay today is to continue to follow the path he traced by - to quote Karl - 'continuing to embrace the present and invent the future'."

It is thought that Karl was ill for a while before his death.

Karl also missed the Chanel haute couture show in Paris last month on 22nd January, adding to speculation over his health. However, the fashion house said he wasn't there because he was feeling tired.

"Mr Lagerfeld, artistic director of Chanel, who was feeling tired, asked Virginie Viard, director of the creative studio of the house, to represent him," a statement said at the time.

Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

This was the first time that he had ever missed an end-of-show-bow at the end of a Chanel catwalk. However, he was well enough in to fly to NYC in December for a Chanel show.

Karl presided over Chanel for more than three decades, with his collections arguably the best in fashion.

Rest in peace to a true icon of our times.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Rachel Andrews

Rachel Andrews is an NCTJ trained Journalist at PRETTY52. She specialises in Fashion and Beauty Journalism, and has experience at a range of online and print publications and joined the team in 2017. Contact her -

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock comment cursor email facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window phone play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp