Karl Lagerfeld has died at the age of 85, according to reports in the French media. Lagerfeld, who was the creative director of Chanel, missed his label’s Paris Fashion Week show in January because he was unable to attend.
The designer died on Tuesday, French magazine Closer reported. A source at the fashion house later confirmed his death to Reuters.
French fashion website Pure People reported that he died at the American Hospital in Paris after being admitted the day before.
His failure to greet audiences in Paris last month was the first time since the German took over as the fashion house’s creative director in 1983 that he had not spoken to fashion fans after a show.
Fellow designer Henry Holland paid tribute to Lagerfeld on social media, using one of his own quotes.
Lagerfeld was best known for his association with France’s Chanel, dating back to 1983. The brand, the legend now goes, risked becoming the preserve of monied grannies before he arrived, slashing hemlines and adding glitz to the prim tweed suits of what is now one of the world’s most valuable couture houses.
But Lagerfeld, who simultaneously churned out collections for LVMH’s Fendi and his eponymous label – an unheard of feat in fashion – was almost a brand in his own right.