His black suits, leather gloves, low ponytail, sunglasses, heeled leather ankle boots and the occasional leather pants made Karl Lagerfeld instantly recognisable. The German-born fashion legend was for decades the most prominent figure in Parisian haute couture. During an interview with French magazine M, Karl Lagerfeld said he had cut the ends of the fingers on both of his leather gloves to make his arms looks longer and alleged that, in France, if you have long arms, you are ‘influential’.

Lagerfeld landed at Chanel about 30 years ago but also collaborated with luxury brands Chloe and Fendi, as well as founding his own label of the same name. As Chanel’s Creative Director, he helped the French label re-brand itself, setting very high standards in the fashion industry as a whole. Alain Wertheimer, CEO and owner, Chanel, praised Lagerfeld for an “exceptional intuition” that was ahead of his time and contributed to Chanel’s global success.

Virginie Viard has been appointed as Lagerfeld’s successor and is now the first woman to lead the label since Coco Chanel herself. Chanel owns Tanneries Haas, Bodin-Joyeux and Megisserie Richard in France, as well as the Colomer Leather Group in Spain.