The longtime creative director died at the age of 85 on Tuesday

By Colleen Kratofil
February 21, 2019 11:29 AM

After 54 years designing for the house of Fendi, Karl Lagerfeld’s last collection for the brand was presented at Milan Fashion Week on Thursday, along with a touching tribute to the longtime creative director.

Before the runway show even began, Fendi posted a note on Instagram that read, “Immensely affected by his passing, Fendi wishes to celebrate Karl’s unparalleled creativity and timeless legacy during today’s Fall-Winter 19-20 fashion show.”

Fendi honored Lagerfeld, who died on Tuesday at the age of 85, with a video that played at the end of the show, featuring the prolific designer sketching the outfit he wore on his very first day at work at the label in 1965.

Speaking in French, when asked if he remembered what he wore Lagerfeld quipped, “Well that’s prehistoric but I remember.”

He began sketching his full outfit and describing each piece in detail, which you can see in the clip above, also posted on Fendi’s Instagram.

“You know in the 60s we didn’t hold back,” Lagerfeld said. “I had a Cerruti hat, I remember that. Long hair. Dark glasses. A printed lavallière tie and a jacket — an English hunting jacket with panels, a Norfolk jacket with French-style culottes and boots. And a bag that I had found in Milan. That’s it. A Scottish tweed in printed yellow and red. I remember it very well. That was my style, disreputable.”


The Fall 2019 collection was the last designed with Lagerfeld and creative director Silvia Venturini Fendi, the granddaughter of the brand’s founders who designs accessories and menswear lines and most notably invented the iconic “baguette bag.”

Credit: Swan Gallet/WWD/Shutterstock

According to WWD, despite being absent from taking a bow at the end of his Chanel Haute Couture show in January, Lagerfeld was still working on his brands (which also includes Chanel and his eponymous label) right up until his death. In fact, he gave instructions to his teams for the Fendi fall ready-to-wear collection.

Credit: Davide Maestri/WWD/Shutterstock

The usual top models walked the runway, including Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid and Kaia Gerber, who all wore the slightly-sheer dresses and strong-collared coats that were prominent throughout the show.

The New York Times praised the collection calling it “smart, in every sense of the word” and reported that backstage models, hair and beauty teams and executives were all in tears, while the mood in the front of the house was just as somber noting: “The noise was just a whisper.”


RELATED: Fashion Industry Icon Karl Lagerfeld Dies at 85

Ventirini Fendi, who is reportedly set to succeed Lagerfeld, according to Fortune, took a bow without him by her side with a sign above her that read, “Love Karl.”

Credit: Estrop/Getty

On Instagram she paid tribute to Lagerfeld with a quote from Emily Dickinson.

“Dear friend, I felt it shelter to speak to you… The last song that I heard – that was since the birds – was ‘He leadeth me – he leadeth me – yea, though I walk…'” Emily Dickinson.

Lagerfeld’s final show designed for Chanel will be presented during Paris Fashion Week on Tuesday, March 5.