Karl Lagerfeld is extremely proud of his enduring relationship with Fendi.
The German couturier joined the Italian fashion house in 1965 and became the Creative Director for Fur and also for women’s ready-to-wear, which was launched in 1977.
As the Rome-based brand celebrates 90 years in business, Lagerfeld also marks 50 years of uninterrupted collaboration with the Fendi family.
“It's the longest collaboration in fashion,” Lagerfeld told Harper’s Bazaar of his contract. “No one has lived long enough to do it for such a long time, and I'm not tired of it at all. I even think I work better today and have a clearer head.”
The 83-year-old, who also helms French luxury house Chanel and his own eponymous label, has staged many groundbreaking shows for Fendi over the years. In 2007 he held a presentation at Great Wall of China and threw a party of epic proportions when he hosted an outdoor haute couture fur fashion show at the famed Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy, in July (16). And Lagerfeld, who flipped a coin into the fountain during his post-show bow with Silvia Venturini Fendi, granddaughter of founders Adele and Edoardo Fendi, notes that the presentation was a career highlight.
“It was a magical moment,” he shared. “Everything will now look modest next to this.”
But Lagerfeld, who is recognized around the world for his trademark white hair, black glasses, and high starched collars, is adamant that the secret to his ongoing success is his work ethic and attention to detail.
The designer claims the Fendi archives are filled with more than 70,000 sketches he’s created over the years.
“The difference between me and every other designer today is that I sketch everything myself. I don't have 10 people doing it on a computer,” he explained, adding that he enjoys collaborating with his team members. “I'm easy to work with. I'm not on an ego trip. I'm only interested in the craft and the design and to work with people I enjoy.”