Iconic fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has died aged 85

Our thoughts are with his friends and family.

karl lagerfeld vans collaboration
(Image credit: ddp USA/REX/Shutterstock)

Our thoughts are with his friends and family.

It has been reported that iconic fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has died aged 85, with a report from French magazine Closer breaking the news.

The news of his death comes after weeks of ill health, with Karl - the artistic director of CHANEL - missing his catwalk bow at the end of the most recent CHANEL Couture Show in Paris.

'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 announced following his absence.

It was then announced today that the designer - who presided over the House of CHANEL for three decades - had died this morning in Paris.

'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,' Chanel announced in a statement.

'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.”

'A prolific creative mind with endless imagination, Karl Lagerfeld explored many artistic horizons, including photography and short films. The House of CHANEL benefitted from his talent for all the branding campaigns related to Fashion since 1987. Finally, one cannot refer to Karl Lagerfeld without mentioning his innate sense of repartee and self-mockery.'

Karl Lagerfeld quotes

(Image credit: Rex Features)

The CHANEL team came out in force to pay tribute to the icon. '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,' announced Alain Wertheimer, CEO of CHANEL. '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.'

Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Fashion at CHANEL, added: '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 undoubtedly a very sad day for the fashion community and high profile figures also paying their respects.

A photo posted by on

'Karl, I cannot tell you how much you meant to me and how much I will miss you,' Diane Kruger posted about the icon. 'I will never forget your kindness towards me, your laughs, your imagination. I came to France to see you this week and introduce you to my daughter...I’m heartbroken I was too late Rest In Peace. I adore you.'

According to CHANEL, Virginie Viard, Director of CHANEL’s Fashion Creation Studio and Karl Lagerfeld’s closest collaborator for more than 30 years, has been entrusted by Alain Wertheimer with the creative work for the collections, 'so that the legacy of Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld can live on'.

Our thoughts are with Karl's friends and family.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.