Revered, adored and entirely inimitable in the truest sense of the word, Karl Lagerfeld's death at age 85 has the fashion world in mourning following the news. The iconic designer passed away in Paris following weeks of ill health, just two weeks before the Chanel F/W 19 collection is due to show during Paris Fashion Week. Chanel has announced that Lagerfeld's longtime collaborator Virginie Viard will succeed him at the house.
Arguably the world's most recognizable designer, Lagerfeld's legacy is nothing short of prolific. A man celebrated as a polymath, his creativity was boundless, his energy unbeatable by even the brightest young design talent, and his ability to stay ahead of the pulse in both pop culture and technology has long put many to shame. There are very few who could square up to his vision or knack for jettisoning a trend or key item into the stratosphere—be it a mass-market commercial concept or a high-brow haute couture one—and even fewer who could step up to the bar at Chanel following his long tenure as the creative lead since 1983.
The tributes to his impeccable body of work, business acumen, generosity of spirit, and sharp wit are now pouring in through publications across the globe (I would recommend reading the Business of Fashion's comprehensive obituary), and here we bring together some of the most heartfelt public posts from industry figures, including editors, stylists, fellow designers, and more.
Many felt like they knew the man behind the sunglasses, such was his omnipresence, power, and candid nature, and his is the kind of name—and signature personal style with the monochrome tailoring, gloves, and powdered hair—that even those completely outside of fashion could instantly distinguish. His loss will be greatly felt, and our condolences go out to those who have worked with, loved, and been close to and inspired by the legend.