Karl Lagerfeld (born 10 September 1933) is widely recognized as one of the most influential fashion designers of the late 20th century.
Born Karl Otto Lagerfeldt as the only child of Christian and Elizabeth Lagerfeldt in Hamburg, Germany. His father was a member of a Swedish merchant-banking family and made his fortune introducing condensed milk to Germany. His mother, Elizabeth, was German. Lagerfeld was born 10 years after the couple's marriage, when his mother was 42 and his father 60. He has several half-siblings from his parents' previous marriages. A Catholic baptismal record indicates his birth date as 10 September 1933 but Lagerfeld states he was born in 1938. German birth records are not open to public inspection. The German newspaper Bild am Sonntag has quoted his former teacher and classmates as confirming the earlier date.
He made his name as an independent creator who collaborated with a variety of different fashion labels, including Chloé, Fendi, and Chanel. In the early 1980s he set up his own label, called Lagerfeld, which launched perfumes and clothing lines. He has also played a role in equipping leading artists.