Karl Lagerfeld was born in Hamburg (Germany) in September 1933 (he claims 1938, however). In 2009 while giving an interview to a french television he said that in fact, he wasn’t born neither in 1933 nor in 1938.
Dropping off school way too early, he left Hamburg for good, moving to Paris with his mother. He started his career at the age of 16 (or may be 21) in a House of Pierre Balmain in1949, and the same year won his first design price for a self developed coat. While working for Balmain he also has finished a tailoring course. After 3 years he leaves his job and gets a new position as a creative director by Jean Patou. There is not much information about his life period then, the only thing known, he was good enough to be able to change to Chloe after five years and become there a creative director there in 1963 (being 30/35).
Ten years later Karl Lagerfeld was already wealthy and famous and started his own brand and first enterprise in Germany under a name “Karl Lagerfeld Impression”. By the time Mr. Lagerfeld turned 43 he knew enough about fashion to actually teach it, which he did for 4 years in the University of Arts in Vien. One of his most famous students is Jil Sander. In 1984 Karl Lagerfeld launched his first Prêt-à-Porter Collection for CHANEL House, the same year he was appointed a chief-designer of the traditional house. Jil Sander is, however, not the only one who became famous thanks to Karl, in 1990 he also discovered Claudia Schiffer, who became a main model of the CHANEL, which led to her world wide fame and success. Apart from CHANEL Herr Lagerfeld developed many additional lines for other houses and even costumes for theatre. One of the few a collections to mention: a collection for a german fashion house Quelle, a collection for US retail chain Macy’s, cooperation with H&M, Chloé collection in 2005, developing a collection for HOGAN, which was meant to be as a one time thing, but this SS12 will be already the 3rd collection created by Lagerfeld.Since 2005 he is also working on his own line, plus a new budget line KARL by Karl Lagerfeld was launched in Jan 2012.
As to his private life, he is single, even though he had a long relationship with a men, who died of aids few years ago. Lagerfeld lives in Paris and Monaco. He is a professional photographer and many of his campaigns shoots personally. Karl is known for his love to books, and has around 300.000 books in his private library. To the question of ‘what sense in life is?’ he says ‘life istself’..and continues ‘a mission of my life is to keep size 48, everything else is not important. Perhaps it sounds primitive, but you should also care about primitive things, it helps you to understand complicated things better’. (Direct Quatation:“Mein Lebensziel ist es, Größe 48 zu halten. Größe 48, alles andere ist unwichtig. Das klingt vielleicht oberflächlich, aber man muss sich um die Oberfläche
For me Karl Lagerfeld is a key figure in a fashion world, he is fashion himself.