Wikipedia: Karl Lagerfeld

February 8, 2012 by staff 

Wikipedia: Karl Lagerfeld, Karl Lagerfeld (born Karl Otto Lagerfeldt on September 10, 1933 in Hamburg) is a German fashion designer, artist and photographer based in Paris. He has collaborated on a variety of fashion and art related projects, most notably as head designer and creative director for the fashion house Chanel. Lagerfeld has his own label fashion house, as well as the Italian house Fendi.

In 1955, at the age of 22, Lagerfeld was awarded a position as an apprentice at Pierre Balmain after winning second place, behind Yves Saint-Laurent, in a competition for a coat sponsored by the International Wool Secretariat. He told a reporter a few years later, “I won on coats, but actually I like designing coats least of all. What I really love are little black dresses.”

Yves Saint Laurent also won the contest for a dress award. “Yves was working for Dior. Other young people I knew were working for Balenciaga (Spanish Basque fashion designer and the founder of the Balenciaga fashion house), whom they thought was God, but I wasn’t so impressed,” he recalled in 1976.

Lagerfeld was born in Hamburg. He has claimed he was born in 1938, by 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.”

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.”

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