Over his career spanning almost 64 years, Karl Lagerfeld worked with luxury powerhouses like Balmain, Chloé, Fendi and Chanel, in addition to launching his eponymous label. The artistic visionary remains deeply revered for his pioneering contribution to contemporary fashion, but there’s a lot more to him than just the artistic side. From his undying love for his beloved cat Choupette to his well-kept secret about his real age, there are various facts about his life not many people know of.
The biggest names in the entertainment industry walked the steps of The Metropolitan Museum of Art this year in honour of legendary fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. Met Gala 2023 put his legacy on an extravagant display with its theme ‘Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty’, whether it was with Rihanna‘s dramatic white Valentino gown, Doja Cat’s ode to Lagerfeld’s cat Choupette or Dua Lipa’s classic Chanel gown making all the buzz. As we look back at the fashion world’s biggest night, let’s take you through some surprising facts about the creative genius Karl Lagerfeld that unravel a whole new side of him.
Interesting facts about the legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld
Lagerfeld kept his age under wraps
The designer’s real age still remains a point of contention. Various sources have claimed differing numbers over the years — which definitely has us topsy-turvy. While Karl initially claimed he was born in 1938, he denied that in a TV interview later. According to South China Morning Post, he told a French outlet that 1935 was his real birth year, but the internet was convinced it was a lie. The truth about his real birth year, 1933, finally came to light when an announcement published by his parents surfaced online. However, we’re still wondering what’s the real deal.
Diet Coke was his ultimate obsession
Just like we all have our guilty pleasures, Karl’s was Diet Coke. He would drink up to 10 cans of the sugary beverage every day. In a conversation with Harper’s Bazaar, Karl mentioned he would consume Diet Coke “from the minute I get up to the minute I go to bed” and could devour it even in the middle of the night. He added that he didn’t drink anything else — no tea or coffee.
Lagerfeld’s feline friend Choupette has its own fortune
It’s safe to say that the German designer was obsessed with his Birman cat Choupette, who has become an iconic figure, thanks to its modelling stints in adverts. Karl often hinted that Choupette will amass a generous amount of his will, however, the cat also has its very own fortune. South China Morning Post reported that Choupette’s net worth was around USD 3.4 million as of 2019, which would’ve only grown in the following years. The pampered feline enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle, ever since Karl adopted it from the French model Baptiste Giabiconi. An agent and nanny take care of Choupette after Lagerfeld’s death and she’s reportedly in good shape.
His personal library boasts 300,000 books stacked horizontally
Karl Lagerfeld’s massive personal library proves he was an avid reader. The floor-to-ceiling collection expanded to 300,000 books, all of which were stacked horizontally so he wouldn’t have to tilt his head to read the titles. His library is reportedly filled with wheeled ladders and spiral staircases for smooth access to his collection. Couches and tables decorate the centre space of the library.
The talented photographer reportedly gifted his subjects Chanel bags
While everyone loves Karl Lagerfeld the designer, not many are aware of his impeccable photography skills. He was behind the lens for a lot of fashion campaigns, in addition to launching multiple photography books. What’s interesting is that he was extremely generous with his friends and collaborators, spoiling them with expensive gifts.
Legend has it that Karl would gift his first-time collaborators as well as subjects a Chanel bag. Now isn’t that a great ritual? Kim Kardashian seemingly confirmed it as well in one of her earlier interviews. In an appearance on The Late Late Show With James Corden, Kim said, “The big myth is that he’ll give you a bag on set if it’s like your first photo shoot with him.”
His extensive tech collection featured 300 iPods
Karl treasured his iPod collection, each of which featured entirely different music libraries. Not only did he safeguard these iPods in custom-made limited edition Louis Vuitton trunks, but also deployed an ‘iPod Nanny’ to look after them, as per The Cut.
Karl shed 42 kgs in just over a year
Karl’s massive physical transformation is truly commendable. The designer claimed he shed 42 kgs in just 13 months after being dissatisfied with his appearance back in 2000. His 2004 book The Karl Lagerfeld Diet talks about his weight loss journey, dieting tips and tricks. In addition to following a strict diet, Karl did weight training for fifteen minutes three times every week. For Karl, fashion acted as the healthiest motivation for losing weight, so he could fit into the latest designs gracefully.
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong
(Main and featured image: karllagerfeld/ Instagram)
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