Designer Karl Lagerfeld, global icon of Chanel, dies in Paris

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DOSSIER – On 20 July 1993, the German designer Karl Lagerfeld salutes the applause of his models at the end of the parade he had designed for the French fashion house Chanel for the autumn-winter haute couture collection 1993-1994 in Paris, 20 July 1993. On the left, the German supermodel Claudia Schiffer. Chanel's signature couturier, Karl Lagerfeld, whose accomplished designs and white ponytail, starched collar and black enigmatic eyewear dominated haute couture for 50 years, passed away. He was about 85 years old. (AP Photo / Lionel Cironneau, File)

Karl Lagerfeld, the iconic designer whose creations at Chanel and Fendi had an unprecedented impact on the entire fashion sector, died Tuesday in Paris, sparking a surge of love and admiration for this man whose career spanned six decades. Lagerfeld's creations have quickly seduced low-end retailers, giving her a global influence. Former model Claudia Schiffer, who credits this privilege to her mentor, calls it "magic dust". "(What) (Andy) Warhol was for the art, he was fashionable; it's irreplaceable, "she said.The German designer may have spent much of his life in public view – his white ponytail, his high necklace stared at the black glasses are immediately recognizable – but it remained largely evasive.It was the enigma that surrounded the octogenarian Lagerfeld that even his age was a mysterious point for decades, two birth certificates, one dated 1933 and the other In 2013, Lagerfeld told the French magazine "Paris Match" that he was born in September 1935 – which would give him 83 years today – but in 2019, his assistant still did not know it. tell the truth to the Associated Press that he loved "scrambling the tracks for his year of birth – that's part of the character." Chanel confirmed that Lagerfeld, who looked more and more frail in recent seasons, died early Tuesday in Paris. first, he did not come out to greet the fashion show of the house in Paris, a rare absence that society attributes to him to be "tired". "Creative extraordinary, Lagerfeld has reinvented the codes of the brand created by Gabrielle Chanel: the jacket and costume Chanel, the little black dress, precious tweeds, two-tone shoes, quilted handbags, pearls and costume jewelry" said Chanel. Brand CEO Alain Wertheimer praised Lagerfeld for "exceptional intuition" ahead of his time and contributed to Chanel's worldwide success. "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," he said. he declared. Chanel said Virginie Viard, her long-time studio boss, would create the future collections of the house, but she did not say if her appointment was permanent. ella Versace thanked Lagerfeld for his inspiration and his late brother Gianni Versace. Lagerfeld was one of the most assiduous personalities of the fashion world. She joined the Italian luxury house Fendi in 1965 and became in 1977 her chief of female design for many years. In 1983, while he was at Fendi, Lagerfeld helped create the fun fur concept, providing a touch of comfort to a formal hairdresser by adding stylized touches. At Chanel, he has ever-current designs and who Spread almost infinite variations on the classic tailor of the house, by going up the hems or by sinking it into gold chains, bead stings or expensive accessories.Wit was never far behind a collection . "Each season, they tell me (Chanel's drawings) younger.One day we will all meet as babies," he told The Associated Press. His frank and often scathing remarks on topics as diverse as French politics and celebrity waistlines earned him the nickname "Kaiser Karl" in the fashion media. Most of the scathing comments were to call former French President Francois Hollande a "fool" who would be "disastrous" for France in Marie-Claire and to say in the British tabloid The Sun that it was not a big deal. did not like the face of Pippa Middleton, the sister of the Duchess of Cambridge Lagerfeld was also strongly criticized for sending a negative message to women when he told the French newspaper Metro that the British singer Adele was "a little too big". Nice of his staff at Chanel, generous with journalists and sharing his Parisian hotel with a Siamese cat called Choupette. "She is spoiled, far more than a child could be," he told the AP in 2013.Lagerfeld had little use for nostalgia and was kept his eyes firmly on the future. Well in his 70s, he quickly adopted new technologies: he owned a collection of hundreds of iPods. Photographer who shot advertising campaigns for Chanel and his own eponymous brand, Lagerfeld also collected art books and owned a huge library and bookstore, as well as his own publishing house. He was also an impressive linguist, alternating perfectly French, English, Italian He even tried to hide what was happening behind his dark hues. "I'm like a caricature of myself and I like that," said British Vogue quoted Lagerfeld as saying. "It's like a mask, and for me, the Carnival of Venice lasts all year." After working with the Parisian brand Chloe, Lagerfeld helped to revive the deplorable fortunes of the famous Paris haute couture brand Chanel in the 80s. There, he helped launch the modeling career, including Schiffer, Ines de la Fressange and Stella Tennant.In a move that helped him become a household name, Lagerfeld designed a collection of capsules for the Swedish sewing company H & M in 2004 and released a CD of his music favorite soon after. A book on weight loss that he published in 2005 – "The Karl Lagerfeld Diet" – has consolidated his status as an icon of pop culture. In the book, Lagerfeld said it was his desire to dress in thin suits in Dior that had motivated his dramatic transformation. The son of an industrialist who made a fortune in condensed milk and his wife violinist, Lagerfeld, was born into a wealthy family from Hamburg, Germany. He had early artistic ambitions. During interviews, he has variously declared to want to become a draftsman, portraitist, illustrator or musician. "My mother tried to instruct me on the piano, and one day she opened the piano lid and said," Draws "It makes less noise," he said. in the book "The world according to Karl". At age 14, Lagerfeld came to Paris with his parents and went to school at the City of Light. His career in fashion began early when, in 1954, a coat he designed won a competition from the International Wool Secretariat. His rival, Yves Saint Laurent, won this year's contest in the dress category. He was apprenticed to Balmain and was hired in 1959 in another Parisian house, Patou, where he spent four years as artistic director. After a series of works with labels including Fendi, based in Rome, Lagerfeld took over the reins of Chloe, known for its romantic Parisian style. Lagerfeld also launched his own label, Karl Lagerfeld, which, although less commercially successful than his other projects, considered a drawing block where the designer worked through his ideas. In 1983, he took over at Chanel, which had been dormant since the death of its founder, Coco Chanel, more than a decade ago. "When I took Chanel, she was a sleeping beauty – not even a beautiful one," he said in the 2007 documentary "Lagerfeld Confidential". "She snored." For his first collection for the home, Lagerfeld injected a dose of racism, sending a translucent navy blue chiffon number that sparked scandalous headlines. He never stopped shaking the house, emitting a logo bikini. so small, the top looked like pies on a string and another collection that only had stockings, the dummies wearing a little jacket rather than an opaque tights. Lagerfeld was frank about his homosexuality – he said a The day that he had announced to his parents at age 13 – but after his relationship with a French aristocrat who died of AIDS in 1989, Lagerfeld insisted that he valued his solitude above all else. "I hate when people say I'm" lonely "(or lonely) Yes, I" I'm lonely in the sense of a Cartier stone, a lonely loner, "Lagerfeld told The New York Times. "I have to be alone to do what I do. I like to be alone. I am happy to be with people, but I am sorry to say that I like being alone because there is so much to do, to read, to think about. "Even though he loved the spotlight, Lagerfeld was careful to conceal his" It's not that I'm lying, it's that I do not owe the truth to anyone, "he said. to French Vogue .___ Thomas Adamson is at www.twitter.com/ThomasAdamson_K___Samuel Petrequin in Paris and Colleen Barry in Milan contributed, and Jenny Barchfield, former fashion editor at AP, provided biographical material. See Karl Lagerfeld's photo gallery at AP: https://www.apnews.com/PhotoGalleries