Karl Lagerfeld’s Enduring Legacy

A Critical Review of the Fashion Icon’s Life and Work

Karl Lagerfeld was one of the most influential designers of the 20th century. With his trademark white ponytail and black sunglasses, he was instantly recognizable, and his impact on the fashion industry cannot be overstated.

From his early days at Balmain to his work at Chanel and Fendi, Lagerfeld created some of the most iconic looks of the past century. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Lagerfeld’s life and work, examining his impact on the fashion world and his enduring legacy.


Karl Lagerfeld


A Quick Overview of Lagerfeld’s Life

Karl Lagerfeld was born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1933. His father owned a company that produced condensed milk, and his mother was a lingerie saleswoman. From an early age, Lagerfeld showed an interest in fashion and he began sketching designs when he was just a child.

In the 1950s he was a boy dreaming of becoming a legend in the fashion world. Lagerfeld moved to Paris to pursue his career in fashion. He landed a job as an assistant to Pierre Balmain, one of the most prominent designers of the time. Lagerfeld quickly made a name for himself and began designing for other fashion houses, including Jean Patou and Chloe.

In 1965 he worked as the creative director of Fendi. He created the brand’s iconic double-F logo used to this day. In 1983, a landmark event happened in his life. Lagerfeld became the creative director of Chanel, a position he would hold for over three decades.

The rest is history. Taking fashion to its limits as an art his subtleties changed some stiff codes that were taboo in the fashion world. Elegance is more than minimalism.


Karl Lagerfeld’s Impact:

Lagerfeld was known for his bold, innovative designs, and his ability to blend classic styles with modern trends. He was a master of reinvention, constantly updating and refreshing his designs to keep up with changing tastes.

One of Lagerfeld’s most iconic creations was the Chanel suit, a simple, elegant outfit made up of a collarless jacket and a knee-length skirt. Lagerfeld put his own spin on the suit, updating it with bold colors and unexpected details.

Lagerfeld was also known for his love of black and white, which he used to great effect in his designs. It’s false he craves these colors too much. No, Karl Lagerfeld used a diverse range of colors and textures. He favored luxurious fabrics like silk and leather, and he was a master at creating elegant, tailored looks that flattered the female form.


Karl Lagerfeld’s Work

While Lagerfeld was undoubtedly a major force in the fashion world, his work was not without its critics. Some argued that his designs were too conservative and that he was too focused on creating looks that would appeal to the elite.

He also had a tendency to appropriate elements of other cultures in his designs, accusing him of cultural appropriation. Additionally, he hated fat figures and didn’t like diversity. He told that same-sex marriage was “strange” and his political views were always where on the side of the powerful.


Karl Lagerfeld


For better or worse, Lagerfeld’s impact on the fashion world cannot be denied. He was a master of his craft, and his contributions to the industry were immense.


His Legacy

Karl Lagerfeld was a true icon in the world of fashion, and his contributions to the industry were immense. Here are some of Lagerfeld’s most significant contributions to the industry of fashion:

Reinventing Classic Styles: He was a master of reinvention, taking classic styles like the Chanel suit and updating them with bold colors and unexpected details. He had a keen eye for the female form and knew how to create elegant, tailored looks that flattered the body.

Use of Luxury Fabrics: Lagerfeld loved luxurious fabrics like silk, leather, and fur, and he was known for his expert use of these materials in his designs. He was also a master of embroidery and beading, and his designs often incorporated intricate details and embellishments made by hand.


Karl Lagerfeld


Iconic Looks: Lagerfeld created some of the most iconic looks of the past century, including the Chanel suit, the Fendi baguette bag, and the Chanel 2.55 handbag. His designs were often imitated but never duplicated, and they continue to be influential in the fashion world today.

Mentorship: A man that was a mentor to many young designers throughout his career, including Stella McCartney and Victoria Beckham. He believed in nurturing talent and helping the next generation of designers to succeed.

Branding: Lagerfeld was a master of branding, and he understood the importance of creating a strong brand identity. He was responsible for designing the double-F logo for Fendi and was instrumental in shaping the brand identity of Chanel.

Multidisciplinary Approach: Karl was not only a fashion designer but also a photographer, artist, and writer. He brought a multidisciplinary approach to his work, and his artistic vision influenced all aspects of his career.


Karl Lagerfeld and Virginie Viard

When Karl Lagerfeld passed away in 2019, he left behind a massive legacy. But he also left behind a successor: Virginie Viard.

Viard had worked alongside Lagerfeld at Chanel for many years, and when Lagerfeld passed away, she was named his successor as the creative director of the fashion house. Viard had big shoes to fill, but she has already made a name for herself in the industry.

Viard’s designs have been praised for their timeless elegance, and her approach to fashion has been compared favorably to Lagerfeld’s. She has also brought a fresh perspective to the brand, incorporating new elements while still honoring the house’s classic style.

While Lagerfeld’s influence on Chanel will always be felt, Viard’s work shows that the brand is in good hands. She has successfully continued Lagerfeld’s legacy while putting her own stamp on the fashion house.


A Name is Fashion History

Karl Lagerfeld was one of the most important and influential designers of the 20th century. His impact on the fashion world was immense, and his legacy lives on today.

While his work was not without its critics, there is no denying the lasting impact he had on the industry.

His love of classic styles, his use of luxurious fabrics, and his bold, innovative designs set him apart from other designers of his time. And his mentorship of young designers helped to shape the future of the industry.

With Virginie Viard now at the helm of Chanel, Lagerfeld’s legacy is still here. Karl Lagerfeld may no longer be with us, but his impact on the fashion world will be felt for generations to come.

By Alonso Ruíz



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Choupette Lagerfeld (@choupetteofficiel) • Instagram photos and videos

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