The iconic Chanel fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld may have died at the age of 65, but his legacy continues to live on as the face of the prestigious brand. Aside from his notable contributions in the fashion industry, the public also remembers his love-hate working relationship with Hollywood performers.
Karl Lagerfeld started producing fashion gowns and dresses for Chanel in 1983. However, his first clothing line flopped spectacularly due to numerous issues they faced with their dresses like threads hanging off the hems, and price tags knotted on necklaces.
Despite the mishaps he encountered, Lagerfeld continued experimenting with looks at the Chanel’s House until they got their first recognition in 1993. The famous actress Maria Tomei wore Chanel’s black and white dress to the Oscar Awards.
To everyone’s surprise, Tomei won the Best Supporting Actress for the comedy film My Cousin Vinny.
The fans speculated that maybe the Chanel gown worked as an added lucky charm in helping her snag the Award aside from Tomei’s superb acting skills. It prompted Lagerfeld to leave a famous policy line most people still remember up to this day.
According to Lagerfeld, he didn’t want to create an image as a renowned fashion designer based on actors wearing his creations.
His mantra had always been not to let the actors define the brand, nor let the brand define the actor. He continued applying this mantra throughout his career as he became one of the most powerful fashion designers in the world.
However, he also had some controversial clashes with Hollywood performers that seemed to clash with his principle. For example, he had a misunderstanding with Meryl Streep in 2017 when the actress wore an Eli Saab gown instead of Chanel.
He also criticized Hubert de Givenchy when he claimed the fellow French designer had never recovered from his devoted client, Audrey Hepburn. Lagerfeld also revealed how he preferred the company of supermodels as well as aristocrats than actors and pop stars.
However, Lagerfeld also formed a working relationship with Nicole Kidman when he photographed her for an interview magazine in 2004. Chanel and CAA chose Kidman to become an ambassador of Chanel No.5 after 18 months of negotiations. According to CAA’s Peter Hess, most of their renowned actresses ended up landing endorsements from top brand thanks to their key collaborators.
His Warming Up
Lagerfeld’s professional relationship with Kidman slowly changed his demeanor towards working with Hollywood performers. In 2015, he gushed about how ecstatic he was for Julianne for winning the Oscar in the Best Actress category for Still Alice. The actress paraded the red carpet in one of his strapless column gown with a myriad of hand-made sequins.
Lagerfeld also said he saw Julianne as the personification of what he understood and believed about womanhood. When he died on February 19, 2019, his star-studded entourage included Margot Robbie, Lily-Rose Depp, as well as Pharrell Williams (who’s the ambassador of Chanel’s Gabrielle bag line).