The fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld died at the age of 85, confirmed Tuesday the French fashion channel Chanel at CBS News.
The artistic director of the long-time French fashion house, Lagerfeld, was admitted Monday to the American Hospital of Paris, according to local media reports. Lagerfeld did not appear at the end of the Chanel fashion show at Paris Fashion Week in January, which raised concerns about his health.
Lagerfeld was born in Hamburg, Germany. He moved to Paris at the age of 14, where he worked for fashion brands such as Chloe, Fendi and finally Chanel, earning a reputation for being "the unparalleled performer of the mood of the moment, "according to Vogue magazine.
Lagerfeld is described as a "European", praising Germany from the interwar period that he has never known as a "spiritual homeland" destroyed under the Nazism.
One of the first American stars to pay tribute to Lagerfeld was Kim Kardashian, who cried in a tweet as "a true legend".
The young years of Lagerfeld
Karl Otto Lagerfeld was born in 1933 in the northern port city of Hamburg, son of a wealthy industrialist of the food sector.
He experienced the Allied bombing that devastated the city towards the end of World War II, but also learned French and English from an early age.
"I was raised as a European, I spoke three languages at the age of six: English, French and German," he said. he declared at the German edition of Gala magazine in 2014.
After attending a Dior fashion show in a Hamburg hotel in the early 1950s, young Lagerfeld decided to become a stylist and left for Paris with his mother's words: "Nothing to do here, Germany is a dead country "- it sounds in his ears.
From that moment, his life will focus on France, Italy and the United States.
Chanel paid tribute to the creative force of his iconic creations in a statement released Tuesday in which he was credited for "reinventing the brand codes created by (the founder) Gabrielle Chanel".
Alain Wertheimer, CEO of the fashion house, said: "Thanks to his creative genius, his generosity and his exceptional intuition, Karl Lagerfeld was ahead of his time, which greatly contributed to the home.
success of CHANEL worldwide. Today, not only have I lost a friend, but we have all lost a
extraordinary creative mind to whom I gave carte blanche in the early 1980s to reinvent the brand. "
The announcement of his death comes just a month after the man known as "Kaiser" for his dominance of the sector did not appear during his weekly show on haute couture in Paris for Chanel, that he had been directing since 1983.
The prolific German had left many young designers in the dust until his 1980s, creating collections season after season for Fendi and his own label, as well as for Chanel, the richest brand in the world.
But in recent years, Lagerfeld had visibly weakened, although his extraordinary creative stamina did not suggest a slowdown on the podium.
Friends had always said that the prolific creator would die with a pencil in his hand and last week his own fashion line, Karl Lagerfeld, announced new design collaborations.
But speculation about his health gained momentum last month after missing the first show of his life. Chanel officials said he "was tired this morning".
Italian designer Donatella Versace directed tributes as the news of Kaiser's death was announced.
"Karl, your genius touched the lives of so many people, especially Gianni and me," she wrote on Instagram, referring to her murdered brother who had founded her brand.