There’s no denying it: 80th birthday or not, Karl Lagerfeld is one of the most intriguing and recognized figures in the fashion world.
Karl Otto Lagerfeld was born in Germany and cut his teeth as Pierre Balmain’s assistant (no biggie), later moving to Jean Patou to design couture and then to the French house Chloé.
Fame found the high-collared Karl in the 80s, having brought the once-dowdy Chanel brand back into the spotlight.
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He has since become one of the fashion industry’s most iconic faces, designing costumes for Madonna and Kylie Minogue, photographing for major fashion publications and campaigns, writing a diet book, directing fashion films and hanging with everyone from Andy Warhol to Princes Caroline of Monaco.
He’s also had his fair share of controversial sound bites, calling Adele “a little too fat,” referring to himself as “a working-class person, working with class,” and positing that “prints are for middle-aged women with weight problems.” Never a dull moment.
Today, on his 80th birthday, we bring you a gallery brimming with iconic photos of the leather-gloved Chanel designer (and his ever-undulating weight) through the years.