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The fashion world mourns: Designers, models pay tribute to Karl Lagerfeld

With a career that spanned close to seven decades, the iconic Chanel designer's presence can be felt at every corner of the fashion industry as he impacted designers, celebrities and generations of models from Cindy Crawford to Kaia Gerber
 

Tributes are pouring in after news emerged that eminent German creative director and style icon Karl Lagerfeld passed away at the age of 85.

The news comes a month after Karl, who was also known as an artist, photographer and caricaturist, missed the recent Chanel haute couture showings in Paris, and rumours swirled that he was in poor health.

With his passing, Karl now joins Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel at the echelons of the maison’s lustrous history, after having worked tirelessly at the brand since 1983, a decade after Chanel’s passing. In his stead, Virginie Viard, director of Chanel’s design studio whom he had worked with for more than 30 years, is slated to take over.

With a career that spanned close to seven decades, Karl’s presence can be felt at every corner of the fashion industry, and it goes without saying he has touched the lives of many.

Here’s a look at how the fashion world and celebrities are mourning over the loss of this visionary designer who dared to dream, transcend present-day norms and reinvent the future.

Designers:

Donatella Versace

Donatella Versace, artistic director of Italian luxury label Versace, paid homage to Karl with a black-and-white photo of the two accompanied by a simple yet emotional caption that encapsulated the influence he had in their world. “Karl your genius touched the lives of so many, especially Gianni and I. We will never forget your incredible talent and endless inspiration. We were always learning from you.”

Marc Jacobs

American fashion designer Marc Jacobs, who previously helmed fellow LVMH label Louis Vuitton, had difficulty processing the news. He wrote: “Waking up to a world without Karl. So sad. And strange. He was a great inspiration to me, and, undeniably a unique and extraordinary talent. RESPECT. Rest In Peace KL.”

Diane von Furstenburg 

DVF posted an old photo the two had taken together with a message that commended Karl’s legacy. “Karl, genius provocateur has gone quietly… Such a perceptive witness of our times. His intelligence, talent and enormous knowledge will be missed…”

Victoria Beckham

The former Spice Girl-turned-fashion designer, who had just showed at the London Fashion Week, thanked Karl for his support. “So incredibly sad to hear this. Karl was a genius and always so kind and generous to me both personally and professionally. RIP.”

Alexa Chung

In her tribute, British model, writer and designer Alexa Chung recalled fondly the memories the pair had together. “Rest in peace, Karl. I remember being so scared to interview you and yet you were in fact incredibly witty and generous. Thank you for inviting me to some of the most glamorous experiences of my life, it was an honour to know you. Oh yeah and thanks for the dry shampoo tip, will always think of you as I powder my wig.”

Maria Grazia Chiuri

Creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri expressed her extreme sadness through Dior’s Instagram account, while paying tribute to his impact on the industry. “He was such an emblematic personality, an icon with whom I had the immense good fortune of working early in my career, at Fendi. I appreciated his culture, directness and humour and admired his creations for the free and modern vision of fashion he offered women. We will miss him terribly and my thoughts especially go out to his teams at Fendi and Chanel.”

Kim Jones

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

All of us at the House of Dior are deeply saddened by news of Karl Lagerfeld's passing. He will be greatly missed by everyone in the fashion world. @MrKimJones, Artistic Director for men's collections, said: "I am deeply moved to hear of Karl Lagerfeld's death. He came to my first show for Dior. His creative vision and unique talent will always be an extraordinary inspiration for generations to come. As will his way of working with his teams, building them up with profound intelligence and a sense of humor that was his alone. The fashion world will miss him greatly, and of course my thoughts are with his colleagues who doubtless are heartbroken today."⁣

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Artistic director for Dior’s menswear, Kim Jones lauded Karl’s ingenuity, adding that his “creative vision and unique talent will always be an extraordinary inspiration for generations to come”. He also highlighted Karl’s special way of working with his teams which involved “building them up with profound intelligence and a sense of humour that was his alone”. He added: “The fashion world will miss him greatly, and of course my thoughts are with his colleagues who doubtless are heartbroken today.”⁣

Clare Waight Keller

Givenchy designer Clare Waight Keller kept it personal and talked about how Lagerfeld had touched her life. “I don’t think I can fully express in words what Karl meant to me and to so many others in this industry. My heart is broken by the news today — he was an inspirational force behind many moments in my life and I feel truly privileged that I could call him a friend. Goodbye dear Karl.”

Valentino Garavani

 

A peer to Lagerfeld, Italian designer Valentino, 86, showed us a glimpse into their youth with an old photo of the two with a caption that reads, “I am so sad and the words cannot express my sorrow! I love you my friend.. au revoir (good bye).”

Alessandro Michele

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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Gucci’s chief designer Alessandro Michele left a simple black heart with a throwback photo of the late German designer.

Check out what celebrities had to say about Karl Lagerfeld. 

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