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How Did Karl Lagerfeld Die? New Details About The Iconic Fashion Designer's Death

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How Did Karl Lagerfeld Die? New Details About The Iconic Fashion Designer's Death

Karl Lagerfeld has died. 

The iconic fashion designer died at the age of 85. While multiple French media outlets reported the news on Feb. 19, Fendi eventually confirmed his passing. 

"Thank you Karl for the most beautiful journey," they posted in a statement on Twitter. "With all our love, your Fendi family." 

So how did Karl Lagerfeld die? We have all the details about the fashion designer's death. 

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1. His cause of death has not been revealed. 

At the time, the specific details surrounding his death have not been revealed to the public, and a cause of death has not yet been announced. 

There were no indications that Lagerfeld had been ill prior to his death. The Telegraph reported that he was admitted into the American Hospital in Paris on Monday due to health complications after a period of ill health. 

He died there the following day. 

While the cause of death has not been confirmed, there were rumors that he died of pancreatic cancer.

"He hadn’t gone on about his illness, but battled it very bravely," a source said. "Karl was very proud of his fitness and healthy living, so the pancreatic cancer came as a huge shock."

2. He just missed a show. 

Prior to his death, he missed the Chanel haute couture show, which made some people start to speculate about his health. However, his team said that he was simply "feeling tired." Virginie Virard, the brand's director of the creative studio, represented him instead. 

That was the first time Lagerfeld had missed out on representing himself. Chanel appointed Virard to continue his work. 

3. His Instagram account confirmed his passing. 

His Instagram account announced his death on Feb. 19. 

"The House of KARL LAGERFELD shares, with deep emotion and sadness, the passing of its creative director, Karl Lagerfeld, on February 19, 2019, in Paris, France. He was one of the most influential and celebrated designers of the 21st century and an iconic, universal symbol of style. Driven by a phenomenal sense of creativity, Karl was passionate, powerful and intensely curious. He leaves behind an extraordinary legacy as one of the greatest designers of our time, and there are no words to express how much he will be missed."

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4. He worked up until his death. 

Lagerfeld started working in the fashion industry as Pierre Balmain's assistant in 1955, and he hasn't stopped since. The designer has been with the brand Chanel since 1983, in addition to his own fashion label, Karl Lagerfeld. He also works as a photographer. 

This quote from Women's Wear Daily perfectly sums up how he felt about his work. 

“I hate leisure. Except reading. I’m really a person made to work, if sketching is considered work. I’m pretty lucky to be doing what I’m doing in beyond-perfect conditions.”

5. He lied about his age. 

He was known to misrepresent the year he was born and often claimed to be younger than he was. Lagerfeld once claimed he was born in 1938, which was false. In 2009, he said he was born "neither in 1933 nor 1938."

It wasn't until April 2013 that he declared he was born in 1935, but his parents' published a birth announcement in 1933. So it was officially decided that he was born on Sept. 10, 1933. Apparently, his mother was to blame for all the confusion. 

"My mother changed the date. It was easier to write a 3 or an 8," he said, adding that he'll never retire so age is just a number. 

"Everyone knows that I'm 100 years old… So it doesn't matter how old I am!"

He also was vague and would misrepresent his parents' background. 


Self-portrait of an icon. #KARLLAGERFELD

A post shared by KARL LAGERFELD (@karllagerfeld) on Dec 15, 2018 at 2:01am PST

6. People all over the entertainment industry are mourning his passing. 

The news of Lagerfeld's passing sparked many people to honor his death with statements and quotes on social media. 

"Today the world lost a giant among men," said the editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, Anna Wintour. "Karl was so much more than our greatest and most prolific designer — his creative genius was breathtaking and to be his friend was an exceptional gift. 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.”

Donatella Versace posted a touching tribute on Instagram. 

"Karl your genius touched the lives of so many, especially Gianni and I. We will never forget your incredible talent and endless inspiration. We were always learning from you."

Chanel's chief executive Alain Wertheimer had kind words to say about Lagerfeld. 

"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."

Celebrities like Bella Hadid have also taken to social media to share their thoughts. 

"Nothing feels right today..at a loss for words and so heartbroken by the loss of Karl. His humor, wit , love and passion for fashion will live on forever. Thank you for the inspiration that you gave to this world and for all of the hearts that you touched in the process. Every time I saw you it felt like the first time & I will miss your hugs so much. I feel so lucky to have been in your presence. Sending my love to the Lagerfeld family and to all closest to him. I am so sorry. We all love you so much . there are so many things I wish I could say to you but for now I will say goodbye... Rest In Peace KL."

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Emily Blackwood is a writer and editor living in California. She covers all things news, pop culture, and true crime.