KARL LAGERFELD COMPANY PROFILE
As one of the world’s most celebrated fashion designers, Karl Lagerfeld is globally renowned for his aspirational and cutting-edge approach to style. The iconic designer’s namesake fashion house reflects his own signature aesthetic through creative, cool and
accessible-luxe apparel and accessories.
KARL LAGERFELD delivers distinctive style and quality to consumers through a breadth of collections including ready-to-wear for men and women, accessories, bags, watches and eyewear. These collections are complemented by LAGERFELD – a line of casual but refined urban menswear – and premium fragrances, which were added to the portfolio in 2014. The company will further expand its portfolio with the launch of a childrenswear collection, premiering in spring 2016.
The KARL LAGERFELD brand integrates its unique approach to design with an innovative digital strategy and global 360-degree vision, reflected through an expanding global network of retail stores and wholesale locations.
Karl Lagerfeld was born in Hamburg in September 1938. A cosmopolitan education and knowledge of languages enabled him to finish his studies in Paris.
In 1954 he won the first prize in the contest organized by the secrétariat international de la laine (International Wool Association). The coat the young
winner designed was produced by Pierre Balmain and at 17 Lagerfeld became the great designer’s assistant. He stayed with him for three years before becoming art director for Jean Patou, where he remained for five satisfying but unusually calm years, for his taste. This relative freedom allowed him to deepen his knowledge in subjects that had passionately interested him for years: history, architecture, music and especially eighteenth-century French.
When ready-to-wear came into its own at the beginning of the 60s, he plunged into a career as an independent stylist in France, Italy, England and Germany. The concept of fur needed modernization to become a viable element of fashion. So, the House of FENDI called on Lagerfeld-a collaboration that continues to this day. Perfume is as important as fashion for Lagerfeld, so in 1975 he launched “CHLOE”.
He became the first great ready-to-wear designer to brand a scent globally without first having his own designer label. Then followed “LAGERFELD CLASSIC” in 1978, “PHOTO” in 1991, “JAKO” in 1998, “LAGERFELD MEN and WOMEN” in 2003 and Kapsule in 2008. In 2013, Karl Lagerfeld signs a licence agreement with Interparfums, and launch two new fragrances, women and men in 2014.
In 1984 he created his own line “KARL LAGERFELD” while continuing both his collaboration with the house of CHANEL, where he was named art director in 1983, and his longstanding collaboration with FENDI. He also signed the new collections for CHLOE from 1992 to 1997.
His constant interest in new experiences led Lagerfeld to illustrate Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. He created as well opera costumes for La Scala, the Florence opera house, the Burgtheater of Vienna and for the Salzbourg festival, and the Monte-Carlo ballet.
He decided to move behind the lens in 1987, with his first press kit, and from this time on Lagerfeld created his own advertising campaigns. His passion for photography and for books transformed his campaigns into veritable art books (published by Steidl), while continuing photo shoots for prestigious fashion magazines.
The year 1997 marked the end of the LAGERFELD Company. In 1998 he began a new adventure. He launched his own label, LAGERFELD GALLERY.
November 1999 saw the opening of the bookshop “7L”, followed by the publishing company “EDITIONS 7L” in October 2000. He had now become publisher and bookshop owner.
In 2000 Lagerfeld changed his look, redefining his image. Will-power and a drastic self-imposed diet helped him lose 42 kilograms (93 lbs) giving up a style that no longer fitted his personality. He wrote a book “THE 3D DIET” (Designer, Doctor, Diet) about his unusual experience. It sold in the tens of thousands throughout the world.
In 2004 Karl Lagerfeld designed a collection of 30 models for the giant company, H&M, under the “Karl Lagerfeld for H&M” label.
In 2005, Karl Lagerfeld sold its marks and its activities to Tommy Hilfiger, this operation included Lagerfeld Gallery and the other Lagerfeld collections for which he continues to assume the direction of creation. This acquisition did not include his agreements with Chanel and Fendi with which it continues his activities.
2006… Lagerfeld Gallery’s name change to KARL LAGERFELD.
2007… A documentary film is dedicated to him: LAGERFELD CONFIDENTIEL (director: Rodolphe Marconi). It will be revealed during Berlin International Festival.
2008, Karl Lagerfeld enters le Petit Larousse Illustré (French dictionary).
In 2010, Karl Lagerfeld receives The Couture Council Fashion Visionary Award by the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York.
January 2012, launch of the KARL LAGERFELD brand’s new concept. A vision of accessible luxury exclusively on Internet.
The first KARL LAGERFELD store opened one year later, boulevard Saint-Germain, favorite neighborhood of the designer… Followed by many stores (Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Beijing, Shanghai among many others around the world).