Karl Lagerfeld has passed away aged 85 in Paris, according to sources close to the designer who have informed WWD. No details have been given yet on how he died.
The designer is said to have been working hard close up until his death, even giving his team instructions relating to the Fendi autumn/winter 2019 collection, which is due to take place during Milan Fashion Week this Thursday.
Lagerfeld is one of the most prolific and celebrated fashion designers of all time and has headed up some of the biggest fashion houses in the world, including Fendi, Chanel and his own namesake label, all three of which he acted as creative director for until his death today.
The designer did not reveal any details of ill health prior to his death, however, he did not take his usual bow at the end of the Chanel couture show last month. The house later released a statement explaining that Lagerfeld was too tired to attend the show on that particular occasion.
Lagerfeld began his career in fashion in 1955 as an assistant to Pierre Balmain. He joined Chanel in 1983 and spent 36 years at the helm of the iconic French fashion house.
A look at his life in 40 pictures:
In 1954, the then entirely unknown designers Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent entered the International Wool Secretariat’s design competition (now known as the Woolmark Prize). Lagerfeld, who was 21 at the time, won the best coat category, while Saint Laurent, then 16 years old, came first place in the dress category. The panel included Hubert de Givenchy and Christian Dior, the latter of whom hired Saint Laurent on the spot. Getty Images
After three years at Balmain, Lagerfeld joined the French fashion house Jean Patou, where he designed couture for five years. His collections challenged preconceptions of couture, including mini-skirts and plunging necklines that were poorly received by the conservative fashion press. Getty Images
Lagerfeld, aged 27 in his Paris office. Getty Images
Lagerfeld with a model while at Jean Patou. Getty Images
In 1964, he began freelancing for Chloé before eventually joining the brand full-time. Rex
In the Chloé offices. Rex
Lagerfeld in his Paris home. Getty Images
He adopted some of his first style signatures – dark glasses and a ponytail – as early as the late 70s. Getty Images
A more flamboyant early portrait. Rex
The designer with a friend at a fan-themed party in Paris. Getty Images
Lagerfeld made strong relationships with a number of women, who would become long-standing brand ambassadors. French model Ines de la Fressange was one such woman, pictured here at a Chloé fitting. Getty Images
In checks for a portrait taken at the Pierre Hotel in Paris. Getty Images
Lagerfeld began designed for Fendi in 1965 and posed for this picture with the five Fendi sisters – (from left to right) Franca, Carla, Anna, Paola and Alda – in 1984. He launched his own eponymous label the same year. Getty Images
In 1983, Lagerfeld joined the the ailing fashion house of Chanel as creative director. In 1984, he presented his first couture collection for the brand. Getty Images
Surrounded by a group of models, including Jerry Hall, following the Chanel 1984-1985 autumn/winter collection. Getty Images
Lagerfeld posed for Playboy in November 1987. Getty Images
With a young Sofia Coppola at the autumn/winter 1988 Chanel show. Getty Images
Claudia Schiffer and Lagerfeld, whom the supermodel credits for having helped started her career in the early 90s. Getty Images
The designer at the finale of the spring/summer 1993 Chanel show. Getty Images
With a young Kate Moss and Linda Evangelista backstage post-show. Getty Images
Lagerfeld joined Hedi Slimane backstage at the Dior Homme show in 2001, where the latter was then creative director. The Chanel designer was so keen to wear one of Slimane’s skinny-fit Dior suits that he lost six stone. Getty Images
In 2004, Lagerfeld teamed up with H&M – the first of the high street chain’s designer collaborations – with the entire collection largely selling out within 24 hours. Getty Images
The designer might be known for his slim-cut suits, but in 2004 he swapped his skinny trousers for a kilt in a Scottish-themed show. Getty Images
Lagerfeld might be a big Coca Cola fan, but back in 2005 he still enjoyed a glass of wine, as pictured at a preview of a Chanel exhibition at the Met in New York. Getty Images
For the 2005 Met Gala, which honoured Chanel, the designer accessorised with a pair of patent riding-boots and silver fingerless gloves. Getty Images
Victoria Beckham, then 31, attended the Chanel spring/summer 2006 show. Getty Images
Lagerfeld with Lindsay Lohan in LA. Getty Images
Emma Watson joined Lagerfeld at the spring/summer 2008 Chanel show. She was named the brand’s new campaign star not long after. Getty Images
Kate Moss, who has worked with Chanel since she was young, posed for pictures at Chanel’s autumn/winter 2009 show in Paris. Getty Images
Lagerfeld’s fame took on new heights with the launch of line of T-shirts with the words “Karl who?” Getty Images
Keira Knightley, one of Chanel’s long-standing ambassadors and campaign stars, was pictured at the brand’s couture show in 2009. Getty Images
Lagerfeld is known for creating spectacular Chanel sets. For the autumn/winter 2011 show, models emerged from an apocalyptic set, complete with smoke and ash. Getty Images
In another jaw-dropping Chanel show, Lagerfeld enlisted Florence Welch to sing inside a giant shell as part of an underwater-themed set. Getty Images
Chanel ambassador and model Cara Delevingne looked entertained by Lagerfeld at the 2012 amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS gala during Cannes Film Festival. Getty Images
Lagerfeld made his finale bow with his godson Hudson Kroenig and Cara Delevingne for spring/summer 2014 Chanel couture show. Getty Images
Lagerfeld staged a supermarket-themed show, complete with Chanel products, for the autumn/winter 2014 show. Getty Images
Lagerfeld staged a feminist protest on the spring/summer 2015 catwalk in Paris, where models including Gisele and Cara Delevingne held political placards. Getty Images
Kristen Stewart was enlisted as one of the more recent Chanel ambassadors. Getty Images
Lily Rose Depp was given the illustrious task of closing the Chanel couture show in 2017. Getty Images
Lagerfeld showcased his newly grown beard at Chanel’s spring/summer 2019 show, where he transformed the Grande Palais into a beach. Getty Images
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.