Iconic Chanel Fashion Designer, Karl Lagerfeld Dies

The most prolific designer of the 20th and 21st centuries, Karl Lagerfeld, died on Tuesday in Paris. German designer  dominated high fashion for decades and reinvigorated French couture house Chanel. He was 85, though Karl long refused to confirm his age.

Fashion was a big part of Karl’s life but it wasn't everything for Lagerfeld. A passionate reader and book collector, he also took photographs, created advertising campaigns, made short movies for various fashion companies, designed hotels around the world, founded a publishing company and established his own art gallery.

His death leaves a void for two fashion monsters: Chanel, one of the luxury industry’s biggest brands, and Fendi, the Italian fashion house owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE where he had been a creative director since 1965.

“We have lost a creative genius who helped to make Paris the fashion capital of the world,” Bernard Arnault, the French billionaire who leads LVMH, said.

Later today the House of Chanel has announced that Virginie Viard will succeed the late Karl Lagerfeld as creative director of the iconic brand. Reps for Chanel have not yet disclosed whether Viard’s appointment is permanent.

Due to declining health Karl did not appear at the end of his Chanel show in Paris. The longtime head of Chanel’s fashion studio, Virginie Viard did the honors.