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Iconic Chanel Fashion Designer Karl Lagerfeld Has Passed Away

Prolific fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has died in Paris as the result of illness, according to the BBC.

The German, who was the creative director for popular brands Chanel and Fendi, was one of the fashion industry's biggest and most respected names.

According to Lagerfeld's website, he was born in 1938. However, he has been listed at five years older by many sources.

"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," Chanel's chief executive, Alain Wertheimer, said in a statement.

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"Today the world lost a giant among men," editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, Anna Wintour, declared.

"Karl was brilliant, he was wicked, he was funny, he was generous beyond measure, and he was deeply kind. I will miss him so very much."

Lagerfeld was born in Germany as Karl Otto Lagerfeldt but changed his last name to Lagerfeld because he thought it to be more commercial. He moved to Paris as a young teen, where he became a design assistant for Pierre Balmain, before taking up jobs at Fendi and Chloe in the 1960s.

He was best known for his affiliation with Chanel, however, beginning his metier with the house in 1983, 10 years removed from Coco Chanel's death.

His involvement sparked new life into the label and it has become one of the most iconic brands ever, mainly as a result of his work, which he continued up until the time of his death, constantly coming up with collections for Fendi and his own label as well.

Lagerfeld also collaborated with H&M in a time when high-end collaborations weren't commonplace.

Model Claudia Schiffer has described him as "irreplaceable.

"What Warhol was to art, he was to fashion; he is irreplaceable," she said. "He is the only person who could make black and white colourful."

"He leaves behind an extraordinary legacy as one of the greatest designers of our time," a statement from the House of Karl Lagerfeld reads.

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