2. Reviving Chanel
Despite launching his own namesake brand and serving as Fendi’s creative director for 52 years, it was Karl’s tenure at Chanel that made him famous. Karl breathed fresh life into the French couture house when it was floundering in 1983 following Coco Chanel’s death in 1971. The owner, Alain Wetheimer approached Karl to help revive the brand, and it was certainly not in his wildest dreams that Karl would transform Chanel into one of the world’s most recognisable and successful fashion brand. During his time as the Creative Director of Chanel for a staggering 36 years, he revolutionised the brand by building on Coco’s intrinsic aesthetic, taking her iconic designs and reinterpreting them season after season.