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  • Writer's pictureEmma

Karl Lagerfeld - A Fashion History

Updated: May 22, 2020

Vintage Clothing | Karl Lagerfeld | Designer Vintage

His Early Life

Born in Hamburg on 10 September 1933, Karl Lagerfeld was to become one of the most influential designers of our time.

Everything about Lagerfeld and his story simply fascinates me. As a child, he would cut out images of models and catwalk looks from magazines, as well as breakdown and criticise what other children wore to school. When he hit teenage years, he immersed himself into high end fashion. At the tender age of 14, he moved to Paris to further his experience and career.

Lagerfeld had been in Paris for about two years, when he submitted a series of sketches and fabric swatches to a fashion design competition. He took first place in the ‘Coat’ category and met a fellow winner who would become a close friend. That friend was Yves Saint Laurent.

Karl Lagerfeld | Yves Saint Laurent | Vintage Designer Fashion

His Career

For the next few years, Lagerfeld worked as a junior assistant and apprentice for the house of Balmain. He then moved to another fashion house to undertake the role of Creative Director. Continuously working hard, he gained invaluable experience and knowledge that would lead him to start out on his own in 1961.

Lagerfeld went on to design collections for a range of elite labels, including Fendi and Chloe. He was really starting a make a name for himself with his innovative and recognisable designs. Lagerfeld had a love affair with vintage fashion and would scour flea markets for old clothes to re-engineer.

Vintage Fashion | Vintage Clothing | Fashion History

Lagerfeld was know for his tendency to jump from one fashion house to the next, he never sat still and settled with just one. At each post, he made great success and popularity meaning his career is one that can be matched by very few.

In the early 1980s, he managed something that most people thought was impossible. Chanel was a label that most had written off as dead. It no longer worked with the times or with the young, modern minded elite. Lagerfeld didn’t hesitate. He came into Chanel and transformed their fortunes with a popular ready to wear fashion line.

It was in 1984 that Lagerfeld first launched his own label, with the concept of ‘intellectual sexiness’. The brand grew and became renowned for bold statement pieces and quality tailoring. In 2005, Lagerfeld sold the label to Tommy Hilfiger.

Recent Years

Lagerfeld continues to keep a busy schedule, branching out into film and photography and even homeware. In 2011 he designed a range of glassware for Orrefors. He has also brought out a clothing line for Macy’s and opened his own flagship stores.

Karl Lagerfeld | Fashion History | Vintage Clothing

Lagerfeld possibly brings more to designer vintage fashion than any other designer has. We love his designs just as much as his story, and it’s always exciting when we find a new treasure.

You can find these, plus more stunning vintage fashion from Lagerfeld on our website here…

And if that wasn’t enough to make you love Mr Lagerfeld, there’s one more thing I forgot to mention. He love cats and his feline friend Choupette is his pride and joy. She is cared for my an army of assistants and nothing is too good for her! That just makes me love him a little bit more!

Until next time! Emma x

Visit My Vintage at our vintage shop in Lancashire or shop online at for fabulous unique vintage clothing and vintage fashion and accessories. We also have a wide range of brand new vintage style clothing and vintage style dresses, shoes and accessories!



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