Karl Lagerfeld net worth in 2023 Career & Relationship

Estimated value: €400 million
Age: 85
Born: 09/10/1933
Died: 02/19/2019
Country of origin: Germany
Source of Wealth: entrepreneur
Last updated: 2021

Short introduction

Karl Lagerfeld was one of the most famous German fashion designers and is considered an icon of the fashion world. His trademarks were his white hair with a ponytail, black sunglasses and a white shirt with a high collar.

Lagerfeld’s name is particularly associated with the fashion company Chanel, but his artistic work and entrepreneurship went far beyond the French fashion label.

early life

There are conflicting statements about his date of birth. According to a birth announcement, Lagerfeld was born on June 10, 1933 in Hamburg. However, he himself circulated different information about his date of birth, according to which he would have been a few years younger.

Lagerfeld grew up in wealthy circumstances with his sister Christel, who was three years his senior, and a half-sister on his father’s side. His father, Otto Lagerfeld, owned the Glücksklee condensed milk factory, which made him a wealthy citizen of Hamburg.

In the Hanseatic city, the family lived in a villa on the Blankeneser Elbhangufer, where young Karl spent some of his childhood and youth. His father also owned an estate in Bad Bramstedt, Schleswig-Holstein, where the family also lived for many years. The young Karl attended the Jürgen-Fuhlendorf-Realschule there, but left it in 1951 without graduating.

Even as a schoolboy, Lagerfeld was interested in fashion drawings and was considered artistically talented. His unconventional mother nurtured his talent and moved with her son to Paris in 1952, where he graduated from the prestigious Lycée Montaigne.


His career as a fashion designer began in Paris in 1954 with a competition held by the International Woolmark Secretariat, which he won in the coats category. Another winner of the competition was Yves Saint Laurent, who won the prize for his dress designs, and the jury included Christian Dior and Hubert de Givenchy.

This award opened the doors for Lagerfeld to the Paris fashion scene. This was followed by employment as a personal assistant to the French fashion entrepreneur Pierre Balmain, with whom he also completed an apprenticeship as a tailor.

In 1957, Lagerfeld became artistic director of the fashion label Jean Patou. A few years later he went to Italy and began to make a name for himself as a freelance fashion consultant and stylist. During this time he was already designing for well-known labels such as Valentino, Charles Jourdan and Chloé, where he became creative director from 1964.

During this time, Lagerfeld also worked for Fendi, whose fur collection he was supposed to modernize.

Career highlights

Lagerfeld achieved international fame when he was appointed chief designer of the French fashion company Chanel in 1983. He helped the fashion label, which was badly hit at the time, regain fame and thus became a celebrated star in the fashion world.

A year later, the then 51-year-old designer also opened his own fashion company with a store on the Champs-Elysées under his own name. His label initially had moderate success and Lagerfeld sold the rights to the brand in 1987. The label now has several fashion lines, and although he no longer owns it, Lagerfeld has always designed collections for the brand himself.

After joining Chanel, Lagerfeld continued to design collections for other major fashion brands and continued his work intermittently as artistic director for the label Chloé. In addition to his designs for luxury brands, Lagerfeld also offered his own fashion lines in the low-price segment, for example for the mail order company Quelle and the Swedish fashion group H&M.

Karl Lagerfeld died on February 19, 2019 in the Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine.

Famous quotes

“I hate the word cheap. People are cheap, while clothing is expensive or cheap”.

“Standing on the assembly line is work. What I do is leisure activities with a professional background”.

“Anyone who betrays me must know that forgiveness is not part of my vocabulary”.

“Stress – I don’t know either. I only know rhinestones. I’m in the fashion industry”.

“The money has to go out the window so it can get back in the door”.

“Wheeers move nothing. Self-pity is out”.

“Only dull minds believe that success is permanent”.

“My advice to people, don’t look at so many things on your iPad, because then you lose your imagination! I personally close my eyes and can spend hours imagining my own films”.

tips for success

Lagerfeld saw the secret of his own career’s success in self-discipline and toughness. As he once revealed in an interview, it was constant hard work and a ruthless, iron determination that helped him to succeed.

On the other hand, he found sentimentality and overconfidence to be a hindrance to success. Also, money never played a major role for him. Quite soberly, he viewed it as a necessary means of spending.

Never satisfied and always striving to become even better, were the credo of his artistic work. In addition, Lagerfeld also repeatedly emphasized how important it is not to take yourself too seriously and to cultivate an attitude of self-mockery.

Estimated value: €400 million