Text: Anna Aristova
The news of the death of Karl Lagerfeld rolled like thunder on media and social networks, stopping at the doorstep of the famous boutique on Cambon Street, where fans have been bringing white roses since yesterday. Rumors of the designer's illness appeared back in January, when Karl, unexpectedly for everyone, did not come out to bow after the show of the Chanel couture collection - then the representatives of the house explained this by the fact that he was simply tired. Instead, the right hand of the couturier Virginie Viard appeared on the podium, who collaborated with Lagerfeld for the last thirty years and went from trainee to studio director - the owner of the house, Alain Wertheimer, entrusted her with the post of the new creative director of the house, cutting off speculation about this post on social networks in the first hours after the news - from Phoebe Fileo to Albert Elbaz, and on the sidelines it was even said that Olivier Rousteing was ready to leave his post at Balmain for this position). When the problem with the successor was resolved, the question arose - what will become of the cat Choupette, to whom the designer almost bequeathed his fortune?
Lagerfeld ironically called himself the "working class" and was a really zealous man. In addition to Chanel, for which he created eight collections a year, including all off-season lines (the number of bows for which was close to a hundred), Lagerfeld was engaged in the Fendi brands under his jurisdiction (the designer served as the creative director of the Italian brand since 1965) and Karl Lagerfeld. as well as photography, cinema, a bookstore and 7L publishing house, and even drew monthly political cartoons for the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine - and that's not all. “I want to work harder than others - so that they feel useless,” Lagerfeld said. “My motivation is to work for the sake of the process itself, not in order to get the result. It's great when you have the opportunity to do what you like and never get bored. I'm not bored at all. I am interested in a lot of things - even more than before,”Lagerfeld told BoF editor-in-chief Imran Amed. The manufacturer of the canonically bourgeois tweed suit once initiated one of the first collaborations with H&M.
It is a well-known fact that Karl Lagerfeld's library consisted of about three hundred thousand books (while he remembered the exact location of almost each of them), and the designer himself noticed that there are “few people as well informed” in the world as he is. This did not prevent Lagerfeld from making many ambiguous, sometimes even offensive statements during the journey: he spoke out in favor of prostitution, walked over the figure of Adele and the face of Pippa Middleton (he himself became a role model of the "Karl Lagerfeld diet", having lost 40 kilograms in fact in a year, to fit in "Hedi Slimane suits"), called women's sweatpants "a symbol of defeat" and forbade the women themselves to wear "pink." He did not like tattoos, short people and political correctness.
However, in the memory of the industry, he will forever remain a French national treasure, a man in black glasses and fingerless gloves, a mastodon and the last pillar of that very fashionable era - when a woman's tuxedo was still a provocation, and not a daring inscription on a sweatshirt.
Cover: Dasha Chertanova