Karl Lagerfeld: The life of a design icon in pictures

The pampered eight-year-old puss has enjoyed a jetset lifestyle eating off silver platters since Lagerfeld "kidnapped" her in 2011 from his young friend, male model Baptiste Giabiconi.

PARIS - German haute-couture designer Karl Lagerfeld, artistic director at Chanel and an icon of the fashion industry with his extravagant outfits and striking catwalks, has died aged 85. But apart from his design, Lagerfeld also developed a mystique around himself - becoming known for his signature sunglasses, his obsession with Diet Coke and his off-color quotes about style and pop culture. If you're wondering whether Giabiconi replaced Choupette, Lagerfeld told The Cut in 2015: "He got another cat who became fat, and Choupette became the most famous cat in the world, and the richest".

"Fendi intends to take its time to pay him the homage he deserves and will communicate on his succession later", the brand said.

After news of Lagerfeld's death made worldwide headlines, the Instagram account for Choupette (of course the cat has an Instagram account) issued a statement about "daddy" Karl. His iconic "FF" logo initially stood for "fun fur".

Lagerfeld kept Viard at his side during his creative director stint at the French fashion house Chloé between 1992 and 1997. "Instead, he transformed the way in which fashion operates and the way in which people relate to it", The Washington Post's fashion editor, Robin Givhan, wrote of Lagerfeld.

Here, a look back at WWD's videos with the late Chanel and Fendi designer.

Their collaboration began when Viard, whose grandparents were silk manufacturers, joined Chanel as an intern in haute-couture embroidery in 1987, four years after Lagerfeld became creative director.

Right-hand woman: Karl Lagerfeld and Virginie Viard take a bow following the Chanel Spring/Summer 2019 show in Paris last October.

Chanel chief executive Alain Wertheimer recalled how he had given carte blanche to Lagerfeld in the early 1980s to reinvent the brand, from the Chanel jacket and suit to its tweeds and two-tone shoes. Karl Lagerfeld is and will always be her "Daddy". She's never alone when I'm not there.

His health had been failing for several weeks and there was widespread concern when he did not appear at the end of the recent Chanel Show in Paris.

In a February 2017 interview with WSJ Magazine, Lagerfeld said, "I knew Trump before, when he was not in politics".

How is Choupette coping in the wake of her owner's death?

Since then, with each show I've attended, his sets became more elaborate (and more Instagram-friendly - a nod to Lagerfeld's masterful ability to outpace whatever is now trending): One season, models walked along a life-sized waterfall, cheekily decked out in plastic rain hats and matching purses.

Bernard Arnault, the most powerful man in fashion and owner of the luxury giant LVMH, said he was "infinitely saddened" by the loss of a "very dear friend" and a "creative genius". In the book, Lagerfeld said it was his desire to fit into slim-cut Dior suits that had motivated his dramatic transformation.

"I see the boys like family", the designer told The New York Times Magazine.

  • Salvatore Jensen