7 things you probably didn't know about the late, great Karl Lagerfeld

19 February 2019 - 16:16 By Sarah Buitendach
Karl Lagerveld. (File photo.)
Karl Lagerveld. (File photo.)
Image: Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage

“He was 85?” everyone in the office chorused, upon hearing the passing of iconic designer, Karl Lagerfeld. “You’d never have thought: he looked so good.”

But that was Lagerfeld exactly. The larger-than-life, entertainingly controversial, wildly talented man with the grey ponytail, fingerless gloves, black sunglasses, and undefinable age.

A sartorial superstar, who over his career as the creative director of Chanel (and Chloé and Fendi) set the tone for the way we thought about fashion as wearers and observers. His eye, his pronouncements, his constant reworking of the iconic Chanel suit: they were what defined a master.

Mind you, so did his eccentricities.

Here's what you might not have known about him:

1. He refused to admit his age. Newspapers eventually dug up his birth certificates. He was born in 1933.

2. He was pelted with a pie by Peta activists. Well technically, Calvin Klein was caught in the crossfire, but the intent was there. Soz Calvin.

WATCH | Karl Lagerfeld, the famous German fashion designer, photographer, artist and creative director, has died. Lagerfeld was apparently ill for a few months and died on February 19 2019 in Paris.

3. He said singer Adele was on the fat side (this from a man, who himself lost more than 40kg in 2001).

4. He lost more than 40kg because he wanted to fit into one of Hedi Slimane's Dior Homme suits.

5. He turned his beloved Birman cat Choupette into a social-media sensation and celeb in her own right.

6. Lagerfeld's first big gig was as a junior assistant to Pierre Balmain.

7. Lagerfeld was also a talented photographer. He photographed Mariah Carey for V Magazine, the 2011 Pirelli calendar: Mythology, and more.

Oh! And he had like a gazillion iPods. To which, he had a limited-edition Louis Vuitton trunk case designed just for his collection.

He dressed first ladies, ALL the supermodels, singers, editors, and starlets. He was, it seemed, a man of the now, always in the loop, totally of the zeitgeist, or, in fact, ahead of it. We shall miss that. 

• This was originally published on Business Day Wanted. To get the best in luxury lifestyle news, visit wantedonline.co.za