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Karl Lagerfeld is perhaps the ultimate fashion designer. His ever-present ponytail, fan and sunglasses are iconic, and his personal preference for bespoke white shirts by Hilditch & Key, Chrome Hearts jewellery and Dior Homme suits is well documented. Born in Hamburg in 1938, Karl moved to Paris at the age of 14. At just 17 he landed his first job at Pierre Balmain, moving to Jean Patou three years later. Despite this traditional start, Lagerfeld chose not to establish his own house but instead pursued a career as a freelance designer. From 1963 to 1983 and 1992 to 1997 Lagerfeld designed Chloé. In 1965 he also began to design for Fendi, a role that he retains to this day, and in 1983, he was appointed artistic director of Chanel. In 1984, he took on yet another venture, designing his own eponymous label, Karl Lagerfeld, which was later superseded by Lagerfeld Gallery and a diffusion line K Karl Lagerfeld. In addition to ready-to-wear collections, Lagerfeld Gallery was a platform for his myriad passions, including photography (he often shoots his own advertising campaigns, along with editorial for numerous magazines, including the cover of i-D’s The White Trash Issue, May 2007), books (he has his own imprint, 7L, and a personal library of 230,000 volumes), perfume, art and magazines. Karl’s artistic direction continues to build on Chanel’s empire in the 21st century, including epic commercials for Chanel No.5 starring Nicole Kidman, Keira Knightly and Audrey Tautou, and a Mobile Art project designed by Zaha Hadid that travelled from Tokyo to New York (2008). i-D founder Terry Jones interviewed Karl in his studio for The Blood is Thicker than Water Issue, Fall 2009 and for Spring 2012′s The Royalty Issue, Karl snapped himself in his own imitable style for the cover and went in conversation with i-D Fashion Director, Charlotte Stockdale.Between creating new labels, designing enormous collections seasonably and inter-seasonally, sketching on his iPad, filming, photographing, readingand travelling, it’s hard to believe Karl still finds time to catch his precious eight hours sleep a night.


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