Chanel’s iconic designer not only changed the face of the fashion industry, but was rarely seen without his star-studded entourage.
Karl is said to have looked increasingly frail in recent years, and suffered ill health recently before being rushed to hospital last night.
Famed for his trademark white hair and wearing dark sunglasses at all times of the day or night, Karl had a tight-knit A-list inner circle, that included all the key players in the runway world and beyond.
The silver-haired director loved having a muse, with Cara Delevingne being his favourite model for years.
She walked in countless shows for Chanel, starred in a short film called Reincarnation by Chanel in 2014, and was the face of their 2013 resort campaign – as well as doing dozens of shoots and promotions.
In an interview with Elle after his Paris Fashion Week Show in 2012, Karl said: "Cara is different. She's full of life, full of pep.
"I like girls to be wild but at the same time beautifully brought up and very funny."
Despite giving her prominent spots in numerous campaigns, he did make some controversial claims about Cara’s looks, particularly in regards to her unconventional brows.
Karl told The Guardian: "She is not a standout beauty. Was it Bacon who said, 'There is not beauty without some strangeness in the proportions'?"
Victoria Beckham led the way with tributes to her late friend, posting on Instagram: “So incredibly sad to hear this.
“Karl was a genius and always so kind and generous to me both personally and professionally. RIP .”
Outspoken Karl is said to have said of VB’s designs that they were “not that bad”.
High praise from the man himself.
He added to The Times: “Victoria Beckham is a clever girl. I knew her when she was a Spice Girl. She’s very clever and very funny.
“And I think a guy like David [Beckham] needed a woman like this. She is tough, fun and clever.”
Karl was worshipped like a fashion god until his death – despite being known for his acid-like tongue – and helped take numerous models’ careers to the next level.
Recently he signed up Cindy Crawford’s 17-year-old model daughter Kaia Gerber to work with the Karl Lagerfeld brand – and he has also championed the likes of Kendall Jenner.
It’s only fitting that fashion’s first lady, Vogue’s Editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, would strike up an alliance with Karl.
The designer even built a tennis court on his Biarritz property as a ploy to attract her over as a houseguest.
Anna said in 2015: “Karl was trying to give me somewhere I could feel at home, where I could be myself.
"This was the first and surely the last time anyone has constructed sporting turf in my honour."
At the 2014 British Fashion Awards, Anna gushed about her designer pal: “More than anyone I know, he represents the soul of fashion: restless, forward-looking and voraciously attentive to our changing culture.
“It was Karl who realised, earlier than most, that ready-to-wear wasn't just couture-lite, but the vibrant centre of the new, accomplished woman's lifestyle.”
Singer Lily Allen posted her own heartfelt tribute to Karl, and said: “You made me feel like a princess. I never quite understood what you saw in me but I am forever grateful for the support that you and Chanel have given me over the last 15 years.”
The Chanel creative chose Lily to be the face of his Coco Cocoon collection in 2009 and said of his choice: “I love Lily Allen.
"She looks a lot like Gabrielle Chanel and she is a self-made woman.
"She is cool, young and extremely witty.”
A host of stars have paid tribute to Karl, who was rushed to hospital in Paris last night.
Karl Lagerfeld amassed a personal fortune estimated at up to £190million.
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