Remembering the Fashion Icon

Adieu, Karl


"Fashion is like music. There are many notes. You have to play around with them. We all have to compose our own melody." This is one of many memorable quotes from fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld, who died today at the age of 85.

Born in Hamburg, he set off in the mid-1950s to take the Parisian haute couture world by storm, leading fashion houses such as Balmain, Chloé, Patou and Fendi to success before bringing the Chanel fashion house to new heights in the early 1980s.

In the following quotes, editors-in-chief of Burda brands honour and remember the fashion icon:

Sabine Nedelchev, Editor-in-Chief Elle and Elle Decoration

"We are not only losing a legend of the fashion world, a friend and one of the greatest all-rounders in the creative industry. In a time of singularities, we are losing a true individualist. Karl Lagerfeld was a singularity par excellence from the tips of his hair to his toes..."

Kerstin Weng, Editor-in-Chief Instyle

"For me, Karl Lagerfeld is someone from another time who managed to effortlessly live in modern times as well. Only very few are able to do that. As an intern at SZ-Magazin at the beginning of the 2000s, I received a fax from him, in response to an interview request. Handwritten. This sheet looked so aesthetically pleasing, one could have hung it on the wall as a calligraphy. For me, this perfection in all aesthetic aspects has distinguished Karl Lagerfeld. With him goes one of the last great couturiers. Many will miss him on a personal level as inspiration and the entire fashion world will miss him as a style constant and great master."

Petra Pfaller, member of the Bunte editorial board

"Everything Karl Lagerfeld did, he did quickly: drawing, speaking, thinking. I'm better than Google,' he once said to me in an interview. He wasn't better, he was the best!”

Patricia Riekel, former Bunte editor-in-chief

"To the world, he was Charlemagne. A genius of the century. The greatest fashion designer of all. Famous for his self-irony and piercing mockery. Privately, however, he was above all a good friend who spoiled his confidants with flowers, technical toys and handwritten letters. When he helped people in need, he would always help incognito."

Kerstin Schneider, Editor-in-Chief Harper's Bazaar

"The last time I met him was at the Metiers d'Art Show in New York in December 2018. For the hundredth time I was fascinated by his great knowledge, which included art, film, music, literature, but also history and current politics. And I have often experienced that although everything revolved around the ‘Karl Cosmos’, he was a wonderful team player. He was a juggler who could play with more possibilities than most people and fashion designers even had at their disposal".


The news of Karl Lagerfeld's death has deeply moved many people, even beyond the world of fashion. But if fashion really is like music, as Lagerfeld himself described it, then his legacy will remain a melody that will accompany creative people forever.

More images & downloads

Boris Becker, Hubert Burda, Maria Furtwängler and Karl Lagerfeld at Elle Fashion Star in 2008 © dpa

Karl Lagerfeld and Aenne Burda at the Bambi awards in 1989 © Brauer Photos/Bunte

Karl Lagerfeld with Elisabeth Furtwängler, daughter of publisher Hubert Burda © Brauer Photos

Karl Lagerfeld and Mariah Carey © Torsten Zimmermann

Karl Lagerfeld and former Bunte chief reporter Paul Sahner © HBM

Aenne Burda and Karl Lagerfeld ©  HBM

Bambi 2013: Karl Lagerfeld, Maria Furtwängler and Hubert Burda © Brauer Photos

In 2005, Karl Lagerfeld was awarded a Bambi in the category "Creativity" © Christof R. Sage

Karl Lagerfeld and Patricia Riekel © API

In 2008 Karl Lagerfeld presented Britney Spears with a Bambi award © AP

Maria Furtwängler, Karl Lagerfeld and Claudia Schiffer © AP

Karl Lagerfeld as a guest in the German television show "Beckmann", together with Hubert Burda and Maria Furtwängler

In 2011, Karl Lagerfeld presented Lady Gaga with her Bambi award © Jens Hartmann

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