The Creative Impact of Karl Lagerfeld


The fashion industry saw the passing of one of its most iconic figures this past week when German designer and creative director Karl Lagerfeld passed away at the age of 85. Spending the past 36 years as the creative director of French fashion company Chanel, Lagerfeld passed away a legend in the creative community. His versatility as a creative (creative director, designer, photography, artist, etc.), as well as his willingness to collaborate with others, are some of the same principles that guide our team here at Orange Umbrella.

Lagerfeld’s legacy as a fashion icon can be attributed to his ability as a designer, earning an extremely high reputation amongst his peers. Aside from design, Lagerfeld’s resume also includes forays into photography, art, and even directing a film about the life of Coco Chanel. Lagerfeld’s range and willingness to branch out allowed him to cultivate a personal brand for himself, a concept that has since become mainstream.

For many disciplines involving creativity or design, collaboration has become an essential part of the process involved in cultivating the best possible product. In the fashion industry, Lagerfeld is known as a pioneer in the trend of brands launching collaborative projects. Lagerfeld’s extremely successful 2004 collaboration with H&M began a trend of collaboration in the fashion industry that still exists today.

Here at Orange Umbrella, students are able to develop professional skills through an experiential learning experience. A fundamental part of that experience is collaboration and exposure that allows students to reach their full potential as creatives. The fact that some of the principles guiding our team were pioneered by Lagerfeld demonstrates the lasting impact he has had on the industry, and he will be dearly missed.