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One of the most recognisable names of the industry has died at age 85. Working right until the end, Karl Lagerfeld was best known for his role as creative director of Chanel, a house he is credited with reviving, bringing it into the modern age. Nothing short of iconic, the designer also headed up Fendi (with Silvia Venturini Fendi) and his eponymous label.

The industry has been left reeling with the sudden news, which comes just between the Chanel Couture show earlier this year and the ready-to-wear Autumn/Winter 2019 show later this month. Though he was absent at the couture presentation, little to no questions were raised as to his health; the cause of death is still unknown, but it has been reported that he was admitted to hospital on Monday night.


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With a career that was kick-started at the young age of 21, Lagerfeld’s early days were spent flitting between the art and fashion world. He cut his teeth as a designer at two other iconic brands, Chloé and Balmain, before joining a then-struggling Chanel in 1983, twelve years after the passing of the house’s iconic founder, Coco Chanel. Celebrated for having revived the label, Lagerfeld’s clear-cut approach to his designs have led him from success to success. Never short of Coco references, both his ready-to-wear, Métiers d’Art and couture collections (including the now-famous Chanel bride) have catapulted the name ‘Chanel’ into the very upper echelons of fashion history (and not just for the clothes - the shows themselves have never been anything short of astounding).

Often referred to as ‘the Kaiser’ of the fashion world, in deference to his immensely impressive and influential career, Lagerfeld will leave a gaping hole not only at Chanel but in the entire industry. With countless accolades to his name, there are no bigger boots to fill than those left by such a powerful of creative genius - one that will undoubtedly remain forever present in the fashion industry’s consciousness. The question of who will replace him at arguably the most iconic house of the world is not one that is likely to be answered soon.