Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has died following a short illness.
The creative director for Chanel and Fendi was one of the industry’s most prolific figures and worked up until his death.
The German designer’s signature ponytail and dark glasses made him an instantly recognizable figure around the world.
He was born Karl Otto Lagerfeldt in pre-war Germany in the 1930s.
Karl Lagerfeld changed his original surname from Lagerfeldt, because he believed it sounded “more commercial”.
He emigrated to Paris as a teenager, and became a design assistant for Pierre Balmain, before working at Fendi and Chloe in the 1960s.
Karl Lagerfeld’s website says his year of birth was 1938 – though most placed his age at five years older.
Rumors of fashion designer’s ill health had swirled for several weeks after he missed a number of events – including Chanel’s spring/summer show last month.
Karl Lagerfeld died on February 19 after being admitted to hospital the night before, French media report.
Members of the fashion industry have been lining up to praise his work.
Donatella Versace said his genius had “touched so many” and was a source of inspiration for her and her late brother.
Chanel’s chief executive, Alain Wertheimer, credited Karl Lagerfeld with transforming the brand after he joined in 1983.
He said in a statement: “Thanks to his creative genius, generosity and exceptional intuition, Karl Lagerfeld was ahead of his time, which widely contributed to the House of Chanel’s success throughout the world.”
It has been announced that Virginie Viard, his deputy at fashion house Chanel, will succeed him as creative chief.
Pier Paolo Righi, his own fashion brand’s CEO, described him as a “creative genius”.
A statement from the House of Karl Lagerfeld said: “He leaves behind an extraordinary legacy as one of the greatest designers of our time.”
Celebrities including Victoria Beckham, Diane Kruger and models Gigi and Bella Hadid have also paid tribute.
First Lady Melania Trump shared images on Twitter of a design created by Karl Lagerfeld for her first official White House appearance.