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Karl Lagerfeld, Iconic Designer of Chanel and Fendi, Dies at 85

By Bianca Husodo

Jean-Baptiste Mondino

On Tuesday, Karl Lagerfeld passed away in Paris at the age of 85 after weeks of battling ill health. The French designer behind two of fashion’s luxury behemoths Chanel and Fendi was absent from his last Chanel couture show in January. His death, announced by Chanel, marks the end of his 36 years of tenure at the house and 54 at Fendi.

Virginie Viard, Director of Chanel’s Fashion Creation Studio and Lagerfeld’s right hand for more than three decades, is set to take over the helm of the French house, continuing the legacy of its late predecessors, Gabrielle Chanel and Lagerfeld.

“Fashion show after fashion show, collection after collection, Karl Lagerfeld left his mark on the legend of Gabrielle Chanel and the history of the House of Chanel. He steadfastly promoted the talent and expertise of Chanel’s ateliers and Métiers d’Art, allowing this exceptional know-how to shine throughout the world,” said Bruno Pavlovsky, Chanel’s President of Fashion, in a statement released by the French house. “The greatest tribute we can pay today is to continue to follow the path he traced by – to quote Karl – ‘continuing to embrace the present and invent the future’.”