The 2023 Met Gala is honoring the life of a legend.
As soon as the first Monday in May rolls around, celebrities and designers alike will get to showcase their admiration for none other than the late Karl Lagerfeld. The iconic designer, who simultaneously served as the creative director for Chanel and Fendi for decades, died in 2019 at 85 following complications of pancreatic cancer.
While fashion's biggest night is still (many) months away, it's never too early to brush up on the German-born designer's impressive legacy.
Karl, who is credited with revolutionizing the term "fashion designer," first gained recognition after he won a 1955 design competition in the coat category. Following his impressive creation, he was hired to be an assistant for Pierre Balmain. But by 1958, he was dreaming up creations for multiple brands, including Charles Jourdan, Chloé, Krizia and Valentino. He did it all during a time when being a freelance designer was unheard of.
Undoubtedly, Karl became an icon overnight when he was announced as the creative director for Chanel in 1985. As he famously said, "I am a fashion person and fashion is not only about clothes—it's about all kinds of change."
Come May 1, the Met Gala will celebrate the incredible designs that changed the industry forever.
But before fashion's biggest night kicks off, revisit his many career milestones below.