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In addition to his own label, fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has been a major creative force behind such well-known brands as Tommy Hilfiger, Chanel, and Fendi.
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One of the most acclaimed fashion designers in the world, Karl Lagerfeld was born in Hamburg, Germany. While he's never revealed his true birthday, it's been reported he was born September 10, 1933. Known for his bold designs and constant reinvention, he's been hailed Vogue magazine as the "unparalleled interpreter of the mood of the moment."
What I enjoy most is doing something I've never done before.
Fashion designer. Born Karl Otto Lagerfeldt in Hamburg, Germany. While the famous fashion designer has never revealed the exact date of his birth, it's believed he was born on September 10, 1933. Often lauded for his constant reinvention, he removed the "t" at the end of his last name early in his career in order to make it sound "more commercial."
Lagerfeld's father, Christian, made his fortune by bringing condensed milk to Germany. Karl and his older sister, Martha, and a half sister, Thea, grew up ina wealthy home. Intellectual activity was encouraged at the Lagerfeld home. His mother, Elizabeth, was an accomplished violin player and talk at the dinner table often included subjects such as religious philosophy.
When Hitler rose to power in the 1930s, the Lagerfelds moved to a rural area of northern Germany, where, as Karl would later recount, he was cut off from any knowledge about the Nazis.
From an early age, Lagerfeld expressed an interest in design and fashion. As a child he often cut out pictures from fashion magazines. He was also known to be critical of what others wore to school. But it wasn't until his teen years, after his family had returned to Hamburg, that Legerfeld immersed himself in the world of high fashion.
Sensing his future lay elsewhere, 14-year-old Lagerfeld made the bold decision, with the blessing of his parents, to move to Paris. He'd been there just two years when he submitted a series of sketches and fabric samples to a design competition. He ended up taking first place in the coat category and meeting another winner, Yves Saint Laurent, who would become a close friend.
Soon, Lagerfeld had full time work with French designer Pierre Balmain, first as a junior assistant, and later as an apprentice. It was a demanding position, and the young designer remained in it for three years. He took work as a creative director with another fashion house before finally, in 1961, striking out on his own.
Good work soon followed, with Lagerfeld designing collections for Chloe, Fendi (where he was brought on to oversee the company's fur line) and others. Lagerfeld became known in the fashion industry for his innovative, in-the-moment styles. But Lagerfeld also had an appreciation for the past, and he often shoped in flea markets, finding ld wedding dresses to deconstruct.
By the 1980s, Karl Lagerfeld was a major star in the fashion world. He was a favorite among the press, who loved to chronicle his changing tastes and social life. Lagerfeld kept company with other major stars, including his good friend Andy Warhol.
While he's developed a sort of hired gun reputation for jumping from one label to the next, he's also put together a track record of success that few designers can match.
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Each day, we put on clothes that do more than just cover up bodies. We choose clothes that represent our personalities, our moods, the times we live in, our ambitions and our desires. Who are the people behind the designs we wear every day? These fashion designers who have made fashion a huge industry, and whose work is as controversial, and as influential, as traditional art. These are some of the designers who have dressed the world's most famous people—and are hugely famous in their own right.
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