The Karl Lagerfeld store in SoHo had an arrangement of white roses positioned in its window Wednesday in memory of the iconic fashion designer, who passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 19 in Paris. On the sidewalk outside the shop, passersby and fans also left their own tokens of appreciation—lit candles and a few good bye notes.
“He [Lagerfeld] stood out like a Godfather character and you didn’t need to know of his accolades to know he meant business,” said Alexendar Munday, who recently moved to New York and visited the store to pay his respects. “Characters like that are few and far between, and certainly fewer in the modern era. He was and is emblematic of style, fashion dies with him. Cool dies with him!”
As news of his death spread, so did the tributes. The Karl Lagerfeld homepage (karl.com) remembered the icon too: “Thank you, Karl. With love forever, your team.” Chanel, the fashion house Lagerfeld led as creative director since 1983, called him, the “iconic, universal symbol of style” and his brand’s website, remembered him as an “extraordinary creative individual.”
All over the world, Lagerfeld was mourned on social media by celebrities, brands, bloggers, writers and lay people alike.
On Instagram, New Yorkers posted photos of the lit candles outside the SoHo shop, paired with images of Lagerfeld and others of him with his cat, the famed Choupette (his “heiress”, who could receive some of Lagerfeld’s estimated $195 million fortune according to CNBC), each reading “FOREVER KARL.”
Those posting selfies, portraits and other photos included Gigi Hadid, Victoria Beckham and Fendi.
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Karl, I will miss your indescribable presence, watching your calm, quiet, genius mind working, your little jokes, amazing stories, and experiencing the clothes, sets, and productions only you could dream up. Thank you for believing in me and for the beautiful, incredible opportunities you brought to my career, but mostly, thank you for giving me the honor of knowing the magic behind the myth. There will never be another Karl Lagerfeld. I am overwhelmed with sadness today, but also with so much love, admiration, and gratitude for you. To all his beloved friends and colleagues, and his favorite girl Choupette🐾, my heart is with you. ❤️ Rest In Peace King Karl. I didn’t want this day to come. 💔
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Even Choupette posted in honor of her owner and “Daddy.”
Vogue published a statement in which its editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, remembered the designer and her friend. It read:
Today the world lost a giant among men. 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.
In the statement in which Chanel announced his passing, the CEO, Alain Wertheimer, said: “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. Today, not only have I lost a friend, but we have all lost an extraordinary creative mind to whom I gave carte blanche in the early 1980s to reinvent the brand.”
Lagerfeld redefined Chanel’s brand as originally conceived by Gabrielle Chanel. The designer was not only a staple at Chanel, but also oversaw creative direction of Fendi and his personal brand: The House of Karl Lagerfeld.
Eileen Karp, chair of the fashion design department at the Fashion Institute of Technology said that Lagerfeld’s death is a huge loss to the fashion industry and to designers around the globe.
“He was a visionary,” said Karp. “I think there’s nobody like him, he is irreplaceable, his ability to design multiple lines for so many years, for luxury companies is unparalleled.”