Today, on the February 19, 2019 the iconic fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld died at the age of 85. Lagerfeld was Chanel’s creative director since 1983. When the German-born designer arrived at the fashion house 12 years after the death of Coco Chanel in 1971, he found himself in the midst of the so-called ‘Chanel’s dark ages’. In those years between her death and his succession, the fashion house did not manage to continue to create the timeless clothes and accessories modern women were seeking. It became a sleeping fashion house that was mainly known for its history and perfume.

From day one Kaiser Karl drew inspiration from Coco Chanel’s work. He updated the typical Chanel look (the tweed suit, pearl necklace, quilted bag and so on), but never changed its character and always kept her tradition of quality and craftsmanship alive. It started as a parttime job for Karl (16 hours a day) and under his hands Chanel grew into a multibillion-dollar fashion imperium with 8 collections every year.

Virginie Viard, Karl’s right hand since the 80s, has been appointed as the new creative director of Chanel. Let’s hope she, just like Karl, is able to embrace the present and invent the future with the history of the house.

Tami Kern