Karl Lagerfeld, one of the most prolific and influential fashion designers in history, died Tuesday in Paris. He was 85.
His death was confirmed by Chanel, for which he has been creative director since 1983. He was also creative director of Fendi since 1965, and the man behind his own iconic line.
“I don't want to be real in other people's lives. I want to be an apparition.” — Karl Lagerfeld
The New York Times called his signature look “high fashion and high camp.” It was coveted by everyone ffrom Princess Caroline to Rihanna, and it made him a household name to this day, even among those born well after his heyday. He was a human caricature (by his own admission) — the deadpan expression, the huge shades, the white pony, those high collars. It was a look that, once he settled on it, never changed.
“Sweatpants are a sign of defeat.” — Karl Lagerfeld
Among Lagerfeld's other achievements: He was a photographer, a book publisher (Edition 7L) and the author of the 2002 diet book The Karl Lagerfeld Diet, which chronicled how he dropped nearly 100 lbs. Sometimes, even wearing black from head to toe is not enough. He was also a noted collector of art, of books (300,000+), clothing and jewelry, and the proud father of his Birman kitty Choupette: