Everybody knows him like as the “Kaiser Karl”, an emblematic figure in fashion environment with his unmistakable energy and style. We’ll try to deepen to find the man behind our last fashion genius.
“I didn’t study, I’m a total improvisation; I’m not even serious, worker but not serious. Everything should seem made with lightness; there is no need to show the efforts to others. It is like the politically correct: may you be but don’t bore us with those discourses”
This is an example of the unconventional, ironic tone and aristocratic “non-chalance” that defines Karl Lagerfeld that always seduced everybody with is complex simplicity. The ability to trace his image and enveloping her with mystery and artifices gave a nearly 60 years old media success to Karl and it seems far from ending.
A true long path and made by continuous evolutions, change is necessary not only to his work but also for his own life, even when there’s no division between them.
Born and raised in Germany, he had a true happy childhood, spoiled in his knowledge hunger; he began to design his point of view with a determination that will follow him for all his life. Relentless reader, lover of art and images collector, KL was a child with self-esteem, also thanks to the liberal education received by his intellectual parents.
In the 1952, at 14 years old, he set off to conquer Paris where he understands fast how to draw attention in the effervescent and glamour climate that distinguished the city.
Luxury cars, pompous outfits and studied acquaintances made him well known by everybody in short time.
The friendship with Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergè that evolves, by jealousy and competition, in a struggle with even opponent teams, is emblematic of the kind of life lived by him and his entourage.
A glamour life like the 70s in Paris: dinner at “La Coupole”, nights at the “club Sept” and summers at Saint Tropez.
While all the actors of this fascinating open-air scene made by abuses fall down the wildest of sins, Karl is subject to duty taking part of this “beautiful life” with no excess in drugs or in alcohols; he starts at the Balmain atelier, then Jean Patou to follow with Chloé maison where he will make an excellent work aside to the founder Gaby Aghion.
The distinctive peculiarity of Karl it was always the ability to renew and rethink already known brands; he has no maison and he will never want it. He can really take the essence of things and adapt himself and his work to the trends with a foresight that made him a multitasking business man.
Beautiful creations that adapt to the market are the dream of every investor and so Karl, working in the same time as a freelance designer for different brands (have you seen the collaboration for Fendi?), made his own fortune that allowed him to accomplish all his aesthetic visions: he will begin to buy different apartments in the city, a castle outside that will be the scene of many events and also the residence for his entourage that will profit of his kindness and generosity.
His greatest obsession is to be part of the moment at any cost; fashion nourish him without void his hunger for news that last just a second, the time of a new collection, a new runway show.
Also his image knew many times of change, efforts that formed what we now recognize as the KL face: black sunglasses, low ponytail, rigid shirt and leather gloves. The need for movement, the exercise of the mind allows the realization of greatness by his never flaunted artistic and literature culture.
In the 1982 he begins the collaboration with Chanel; at first the contract established two Haute Couture collections per year.
What follows is history.
Karl Lagerfeld represents everything can be good in fashion, the living evidence of the commitment that this “frivolous world” demands. A unique example of brilliance and savoir faire. In this there are no artifices or vulgarity, just pure imagination.