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Lagerfeld was born in Hamburg. He has claimed he was born in 1938, to Elisabeth (born Bahlman) and his Swedish father Otto Lagerfeldt. He is known to insist that no one knows his real birth date: Interviewed on French television in February 2009, Lagerfeld said that he was "born neither in 1933 nor 1938." In April 2013 he finally declared that he was born in 1935. His older sister, Martha Christiane (a.k.a. Christel), was born in 1931. Lagerfeld also has an older half-sister, Thea, from his father's first marriage. His original name was Lagerfeldt (with a "t"), but he later changed it to Lagerfeld as "it sounds more commercial." Lagerfeld grew up as the son of a wealthy businessman from Hamburg who was introducing condensed milk. His family was mainly shielded from the deprivations of World War II due to his father's business interests. (Glücksklee-Milch GmbH) to Germany; his mother is from Berlin. According to Alicia Drake,[vague] Lagerfeld's mother, Elisabeth Bahlmann, was a lingerie saleswoman in Berlin when she met her husband and married him in 1930. After attending a private school, Lagerfeld finished his secondary school at the Lycée Montaigne in Paris, where he majored in drawing and history. Lagerfeld was hired as Pierre Balmain's assistant after winning the coats category in a design competition sponsored by the International Wool Secretariat in 1955. In 1958, after three years at Balmain, he moved to Jean Patou where he designed two haute couture collections a year for five years. His first collection was shown in a two-hour presentation in July 1958, but he used the name Roland Karl, rather than Karl Lagerfeld (although in 1962, reporters began referring to him as Karl Lagerfelt or Karl Logerfeld). The first collection was poorly received. Carrie Donovan wrote that "the press booed the collection". The UPI noted: "The firm's brand new designer, 25-year old Roland Karl, showed a collection which stressed shape and had no trace of last year's sack." The reporter went on to say that "A couple of short black cocktail dresses were cut so wide open at the front that even some of the women reporters gasped. Other cocktail and evening dresses feature low, low-cut backs." Most interestingly, Karl said that his design silhouette for the season was called by the letter "K" (for Karl), which was translated into a straight line in front, curved in at the waist in the back, with a low fullness to the skirt. His skirts for the spring 1960 season were the shortest in Brisbane, and the collection was not well received. Carrie Donovan said it "looked like clever and immensely salable ready-to-wear, not couture." In his late 1960
clothing and accessories. and designed for theatres like La Scala in Milan (Les Troyens by Hector Berlioz. which hung on the cheek. to be worn under a black velvet ankle-length cape." He showed loose Spencer jackets and printed silk shirt jackets. 1924) of Jacksboro. Doris Duke and Principessa Borghese were also customers while Lagerfeld was designing the line. In 1970. As more and more pieces were incorporated. Lagerfeld had begun to freelance for French fashion house Chloé in 1964. Starting in the 1970s." Lagerfeld and Richards sketched the first collection in 1963 together." he told a reporter at the time. Lagerfeld designed for the company until 1969. "It seems that wearing these skirts is an extraordinary sensation. Texas. and opened his salon with a three-night wingding. In 1972. He collaborated with stage directors such as Luca Ronconi and Jürgen Flimm. 1980. Gina Lollobrigida. "I became bored there. His Chloe collection for Spring 1973 (shown in October 1972) garnered headlines for offering something both "high fashion and high camp. He designed something he called a "surprise" skirt. a Roman couture house founded that year by Evan Richards (b.) His first collection was described as having a "drippy drapey elegance" designed for a "1930s cinema queen. which consisted of mini bra dresses with very short skirts. so loose that it hid the fact it was actually pants." Karl's collection were said to be well received. Tiziani threw caution and invitations to the winds. He was replaced in 1969 with Guy Douvier. but not groundbreaking."[according to whom?] The Curiel mannequins all wore identical. short-cropped blonde wigs." according to one report in 1969. and long dresses with bra tops and scarf shawls. bearing the label "Tiziani-Roma – Made in England. "When they wound up with 90 outfits.collection he designed special little hats. borrowed Catherine the Great's jewels from Harry Winston. at first designing a few pieces a season. but that didn't work. It began as couture and then branched out into ready-to-wear."' In 1963. designing furs. He also showed black velvet shorts. died in November 1969. and I quit and tried to go back to school. too. the . which was ankle-length. directed by Ronconi). pleated silk. so I spent two years mostly on beaches – I guess I studied life. Lagerfeld has occasionally worked as a costume designer for theatrical productions. He called them "slaps in the face. he would soon design the entire collection. he began designing for Tiziani. a woman named Gigliola Curiel. he also began a brief design collaboration with Roman Haute Couture house Curiel (the designer. pancake shaped circles of satin. he began to collaborate with Italian fashion house Fendi. Elizabeth Taylor was a fan of the label (she referred to Evan as "Evan Tiziani") and began wearing it in August 1966. He also designed a look inspired by Carmen Miranda.
Only two days after having supplied its outlets. directed by Horst Zankl).  In a statement after the show in Paris. he had also been maintaining a design contract with the Japanese firm Isetan." Lagerfeld designed the costumes for the Carmen sequences in the 2002 film Callas Forever. International fame (1982–present)[edit source | editbeta] Lagerfeld at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival At the time. In 2002. produced by Eve Stillmann. Karl represents creativity.  The collection. the founder of Diesel. had a lingerie line in the US. It consisted of five pieces that were presented during the designer's catwalk shows during Paris Fashion Week and then sold in very strict limited editions at the Lagerfeld Galleries in Paris and Monaco. 1990. and the Salzburg Festival (Der Schwierige by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. to create collections for both men and women through 30 licenses. In 2004. During the first week of sales in New York. he designed some outfits for the international music artist Madonna. and at the Diesel Denim Galleries in New York and Tokyo. and recently designed outfits for Kylie Minogue's Showgirl tour. which was titled Lagerfeld Gallery by Diesel. and worked with Trevira as a fashion adviser. tradition and challenge. Lagerfeld collaborated with the international Swedish fashion brand H&M. directed by Flimm).840. even though prices ranged from as high as $240 to $1. Lagerfeld has expressed some fear that working with lower-end .Burgtheater in Vienna (Komödie der Verführung by Arthur Schnitzler. to collaborate with him on a special denim collection for the Lagerfeld Gallery. was designing shoes for Charles Jourdan. and the fact that he thought of Diesel for this collaboration is a great gift and acknowledgement of our reputation as the prêt-à-porter of casual wear. H&M announced that almost all the clothes were sold out. sweaters for Ballantyne. 1980. H&M offered a limited range of different Lagerfeld clothes in chosen outlets for both women and men. Karl Lagerfeld asked Renzo Rosso. under the supervision of Rosso. Rosso said "I am honored to have met this fashion icon of our time. more than 90% of the trousers had already been sold out. for her Re-Invention tour. On 12 November 2004. was codesigned by Lagerfeld and then developed by Diesel's Creative Team.
 although in the past he has worked closely with the hosiery designer Wolford. He produced Visionaire 23: The Emperor's New Clothes. Lagerfeld is to design limited edition homes[vague] on Isla Moda. Numéro and the Russian and German editions of Vogue. Fendi and his eponymous line) every season. Lagerfeld has signed a deal with Dubai Infinity Holdings (DIH). In the 1980s.brands will taint his image. In 2009. On 18 December 2006. mini Lagerfelds in the form of mice and finger puppets respectively. Lagerfeld has been immortalized in many forms: pins. the world’s first dedicated fashion island. The collection includes fitted Tshirts and a wide range of jeans. Lagerfeld photographs advertising campaigns for the houses under his direction (Chanel. dolls. In addition to his editorial work for Harper's Bazaar.[vague] set in the iconic[vague] development. shirts. The World.500 that sold for $1. Tra Tutti began selling Karl Lagermouse and Karl Lagerfelt. Lagerfeld announced the launch of a new collection for men and women dubbed K Karl Lagerfeld. He has also supported and encouraged the work of up-and-coming designers including Philip Colbert of Rodnik. He also personally photographed Mariah Carey for the cover of V magazine in 2005. This will be a collaboration between Dubai Infinity Holdings and Lagerfeld across the GCC and India. the Hans Christian Andersen tale "The Emperor's New Clothes" was published with drawings by Lagerfeld. . Lagerfeld is the host of fictional radio station "K109 – The Studio" in the videogame Grand Theft Auto IV. a series of nude pictures of models and celebrities. Lagerfeld is also a photographer. The show covered the creation of his Fall/Winter 2004–2005 Chanel couture collection. The designer was also the subject of a French reality series called Signé Chanel in 2005. In 2008. in line with their mandate[vague] to fulfil unmet market needs. an investments enterprise that will focus on first-of-its-kind projects in non-conventional growth sectors. It aired on Sundance Channel in the United States during the fall of 2006.500. Lagerfeld created a teddy bear in his likeness produced by Steiff in a limited-edition of 2. and more.
 On 10 November 2010.Lagerfeld with Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco. explaining that he had taken the design from a book about the Taj Mahal. the Couture Council of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology presented Lagerfeld with an award created for him. thinking the words came from a love poem. Lagerfeld and Swedish crystal manufacturer Orrefors announced a collaboration for designing a crystal art collection. In the French issue of Architectural Digest in May 2012. at a benefit luncheon at Avery Fisher Hall. In 2013. . The tofu pies hurled by animal rights activists in protest of his use of fur within his collections. "a great friend to the animals". Lagerfeld was the target of a pieing by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in 2001 at a fashion premiere at Lincoln Center in New York City. New York. Lagerfeld's homeland. He also revealed his vast collection of Suzanne Belperron's pins and brooches and used the colour of one of her blue chalcedony rings as the starting point for the Chanel spring/summer 2012 collection. he caused US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour to walk out of his Milan Fashion Week runway show when he employed strippers and adult film star Moana Pozzi to model his black-and-white collection for Fendi. "The Couture Council Fashion Visionary Award". 2011 On 10 September 2010. Karl Lagerfeld shows off his apartment in Paris.. he directed the short film Once Upon a Time. despite apologies from the designer and the fashion house. while he called Lagerfeld a "designer dinosaur" who continues to use fur in his collections. Germany. who doesn't use fur. calling Klein.. in the Cité du Cinéma by Luc Besson in Saint-Denis with Keira Knightley in the role of Coco Chanel and Clotilde Hesme in the role of his aunt Adrienne Chanel. however went astray and hit Calvin Klein. A PETA spokesperson described the hit on Klein as "friendly fire". The controversy erupted after the 1994 couture show in Paris. Controversies[edit source | editbeta] In 1993. There was much controversy from Lagerfeld's use of a verse from the Qur'an in his spring 1994 couture collection for Chanel. The first collection was launched in spring 2011 under the name "Orrefors by Karl Lagerfeld". The designer apologized. when the Indonesian Muslim Scholars Council in Jakarta called for a boycott of Chanel and threatened to file formal protests with the government of Mr.
 Weight loss[edit source | editbeta] When Lagerfeld lost 42 kg (roughly 92. Duchess of Cambridge. wearing leather for shoes and clothes and even handbags. Duchess of Cambridge." Spokespersons for PETA called Lagerfeld "a fashion dinosaur who is as out of step as his furs are out of style". Adele hit back by saying she is like the majority of women. his explanation was ". when he called the singer Adele "A little too fat". She is simply too heavy and has too big a bust". very slim boys—and not men my age—required me to lose at least 40 kg. for her "romantic beauty" before adding "I don't like the sister's face. It took me exactly thirteen months. being "more bling bling and glamorous than current fashion. to wear clothes designed by Hedi Slimane." Lagerfeld in 2009 joined critics of supermodel Heidi Klum.Lagerfeld defends the fur industry and the use of fur in fashion. and "particularly delusional with his kill-or-be-killed mentality. and maintained that "in a meat-eating world. and she is very proud of that fact." "But these fashions. She should only show her back". who used fake fur in his 2010 Chanel collection. Lagerfeld followed suit by saying that neither he nor Claudia Schiffer knew Klum as she has never worked in Paris and is insignificant in the world of high fashion. In a BBC interview in 2009 he claimed that hunters "make a living having learnt nothing else than hunting.6 pounds) in 13 months in 2001. "no runway model. the discussion of fur is childish. PETA quotes Lagerfeld. killing those beasts who would kill us if they could". which he promoted on Larry King Live and other shows. . Jean-Claude Houdret. which led to a book called The Karl Lagerfeld Diet. modeled by very. on their website as saying: "It's the triumph of fake fur … because fake fur changed so much and became so great now that you can hardly see a difference. Lagerfeld later caused controversy on 31 July 2012 when he criticized Pippa Middleton. After German designer Wolfgang Joop called Klum. When was the last time a person's life was threatened by a mink or rabbit?" In 2010." The diet was created specially for Lagerfeld by Dr. The comment was made when Lagerfeld was praising Catherine..." Lagerfeld created an international furore on 9 February 2012. sister of Catherine. This caused instant fury throughout the United Kingdom and Lagerfeld responded with a statement of apology. although he himself doesn't wear fur and hardly eats meat. for her looks. who had posed naked on the cover of the German edition of GQ magazine.I suddenly wanted to dress differently.
he indicated he would marry Choupette were it legal. and shares his life with a Siamese cat named Choupette. On June 1. 2013.Personal life[edit source | editbeta] Lagerfeld owns a mansion in Paris. .
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