Sources close to Chanel reported that Karl Lagerfeld, the German designer and creative director of Chanel and Fendi, passed away earlier today at the age of 85. After spending three decades at the helm of Chanel, Lagerfeld missed the brand’s latest show in January due to tiredness; an incident that sparked speculations regarding his health.

Lagerfeld first fell in love with the industry after attending a Dior fashion show with his mother in the 1930s. Almost two decades later, the designer started his career as an assistant to Pierre Balmain in 1955. He was offered the position of creative director at Chanel in 1985. According to his previous interviews, he accepted the offer with reluctance as he was worried that Chanel’s status at the time could harm the stellar reputation he had earned at Fendi and Chloe

Lagerfeld ended up leading the French luxury house of Chanel for 36 years, producing eight collections per year. When he was first appointed, media sources reported that he worked more than 16 hours per day and loved every minute of it.┬áThe designer’s cause of death still has not been confirmed. Meanwhile, Chanel still has not announced his successor.

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