Karl Lagerfeld, one of the world’s most iconic and prolific fashion designers, has died this morning in Paris. He was 85.

Born in Hamburg in 1933, Lagerfeld began his career as Pierre Balmain’s assistant in 1955. What followed was a seven-decade career that, to date has been unparalleled. In addition to being involved in numerous projects and collaborations, Lagerfeld served as creative director at Fendi (since 1965), his namesake label (since 1974) and, most notably, Chanel (since 1983) simultaneously.

“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," said Chanel CEO Alain Wertheimer in a statement. "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’s passing marks the end of an era at Chanel. It’s been reported that Chanel Studio Director and Lagerfeld’s right hand woman Virginie Viard will take his place at Chanel.

Chanel will show its Fall/Winter 2019 runway collection on Tuesday, March 5 and for the first time in over 35 years, Lagerfeld’s presence will be missed.

Tags: fendi, chanel, karl-lagerfeld