September 27, 2008

The Dude! Karl Lagerfeld::

Karl Lagerfeld is the master of reinvention. From a portly fan-wielding designer for his own label he shrank to a snake-hipped figure (after which he authored and published The 3D Diet - about dropping 92 pounds in 13 months), and - although he still brandishing a fan - he set about world domination as designer for Fendi as well as Chanel, plus a range for H& M.

He is a mini polymath: an intellectual who owns 7L - a bookshop in Paris - speaks several languages and has published books of his art photography too. 

• Born in Hamburg in 1938, Karl Lagerfeld emigrated to Paris at the age of 14 

• He has designed costumes for La Scala opera

• In 1955, at the age of 17, Lagerfeld worked at Pierre Balmain, after winning a competition. He then worked for Jean Patou, Krizia, Charles Jourdan and Valentino 

• In 1967 he joined Fendi, then Chloe the following decade, then Chanel in 1983 - returning briefly to Chloe in 1993 to replace out-going designer Martine Sitbon

• In 1984 he also launched his own name Karl Lagerfeld label which, he said, would channel "intellectual sexiness"

It's no wonder that he appears to be such a master of the fashion landscape. By 1997, Vogue crowned him the "unparalleled interpreter of the mood of the moment". Humour in his designs never deserts him whether with quilted handbag earrings, to 2007's quilted ankle bag. 
In 2005 he sold his own name brands (Lagerfeld Gallery and Lagerfeld), to Tommy Hilfiger but maintained full design involvement.

Chanel, 29-31 rue Cambon, 75001 Paris, France

Tel: + 33 1 42 86 28 00
Fendi, 24, Rue Fran├žois 1er, 75008 Paris, France
Tel: +33 1 49 52 84 5

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