Paris - German haute-couture designer Karl Lagerfeld, artistic director at Chanel and an icon of the global fashion industry for over half a century, has died, a source at the French fashion house said on Tuesday. He was 85.
Lagerfeld, instantly recognizable in his dark suits, pony-tailed white hair and sunglasses, was best known for his association with Chanel but delivered collections for LVMH's Fendi and his own eponymous label.
Rumours of Lagerfeld's ill-health had swirled after he missed Chanel's January show in Paris.
"We have lost a creative genius who helped to make Paris the fashion capital of the world and Fendi one of the most innovative Italian houses," LVMH chairman and chief executive Bernard Arnault said in a statement.
"We owe him a great deal: his taste and talent were the most exceptional I have ever known."