Karl Lagerfeld

'Kaiser Karl' lent his sartorial savvy to Valentino, Fendi and Chloe before settling at Chanel. Born in Hamburg, he moved to Paris in 1952 and made fashion history.

Karl Lagerfeld moved to Paris at the age of 14 and, by 17, thanks to a coat design competition, had won a job with Pierre Balmain.

A stint working for Jean Patou, in 1958, provided the young Karl with valuable couture experience and, within a year, he was successfully working for a number of top Paris fashion houses. However, having become disillusioned with Paris fashion, he moved to Italy to further his fashion education.

He joined Fendi and, during the 1970s, he worked with Chloe. His 1972 Deco collection attracted worldwide acclaim and, by 1983, he had moved to Chanel.

Lagerfeld went on to launch his own label, offering what he termed “intellectual sexiness", with bright colours and softly shaped knitwear.

While still working for Chanel, his achievements were many, including the box jacket with denim mini skirts, in 1991, and black fishnet body-stockings with Chanel branding over the breasts. Lagerfeld’s strong sense of humour has led to such pieces as the shower-dress, the car-dress and a range of wacky hats!

Outside of his fashion world, Karl enjoys learning languages and speaks fluent German, English, French and Italian. His other passions include antiques and photography, and he consider himself a workaholic – totally in love with his job!