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FASHIONS INFLUENTIAL: KARL LAGERFELD

Kaiser Karl is 79 years old (or 74 if we are to believe what he says) and is still working harder than most. This year alone he has launched his new line ”Karl” – exclusively online in the spirit of the times, has staged two haute couture shows for the spring/summer Chanel collection (first in Paris then Tokyo), and is designing for Fendi, as well as his own line and Chanel. He has had a career the rest of us can only dream of, that started almost six decades ago in 1954.

How does he do it? The eccentric designer seems to get more energized the more he works and the older he gets. He has said he doesn’t look at this work as a job; he does what he loves. Thankfully for him, and us, he is talented at it. Even at his age he always knows what young girls three times younger than him wants. When he took over as designer for Chanel in 1982 he was able to turn an out-dated house trendy and with his designs at Chanel he created the desirable “bling-look” of the 80s. And his business sense didn’t stop there. After all, what is Karl if not a walking brand?

When he, as the first designer, collaborated with H&M in 2004, everything was sold out in a few days. He has been the first to set the trends in several aspects of the fashion business. His blueprint for reviving old fashion houses with his success at Chloé and Chanel has inspired a group of houses to do the same; Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton, Christopher Bailey for Burberry, Nicholas Ghesquière for Balenciaga and Phoebe Philo for Céline.

But really when you think of Karl Lagerfeld, you think of the monochrome suits, the skinny tie, high white collars and of course the black trademark sunglasses. Karl’s line is designed for the female version of himself. A little piece of Karl is now available to all of us. I wouldn’t be surprised if he somehow is still creating Lagerfeld fashion the next twenty years as well!

By Hilde Falck - Fashion Writer for A-SHU.CO.UK.

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