Entrepreneurial Lessons From Fashion Icon Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld is a fashion icon who knows a thing or two about branding, building a legacy and keeping up with changing trends. He is a designer, as well as an entrepreneur, who started a career in Paris when he was only 17 years old.

Lagerfeld is responsible for revitalizing fashion house Channel and Fendi, by bringing innovation to the brand while preserving a classic appeal. Today, he designs several collections a year each for Fendi, Chanel and his own Karl Lagerfeld line. And he doesn’t plan to stop any time soon.


This week, he was featured in the New York Times, where the designer spoke about his designs and shared some valuable career lessons. Here are a few

On Holding on to the Past and Moving Forward

“This is one of the sicknesses of our period, to look back. No, forget about it. Fashion is now and tomorrow. Who cares about the past?…When people start to think that what they did in the past is perhaps even better than what they do now, they should stop.”

On Finding Inspiration

” I don’t believe in waiting for inspiration. The French say, l’appétit vient en mangeant, the ideas come when you work. I work a lot for the garbage can. I have huge bins next [to me], for whatever I do, 95 percent goes to the bin.”

Karl Lagerfeld

Young Lagerfeld. He started his career in Paris at age 17

On Competitors

“Yes, I look at many things. I don’t see it like competition. I like when there are many people who do good things, because you work better if there is competition than if there are only third-rate people.”

On the Culture of Selfies 

“I don’t do selfies. But other people do, and they all want to do selfies with me. No, no, no. Thank God, Sébastien, my assistant, he’s mean to the people in the street, mean and rude. I’m a nice person.”




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Written by:
Camila has been heavily active in South Florida’s tech startup community, where she is a co-host of a local radio show called pFunkcast. Camila previously worked at Greenpeace International and the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in various communication roles. A proud Brazilian who spent most of he life in Peru, she is passionate about traveling and documentaries.
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