Karl Lagerfeld, the iconic Chanel fashion designer, has died at age 85.
He passed away after a short illness, a statement given to Reuters said.
Chanel called Lagerfeld "an extraordinary creative individual" in a release emailed to CNBC. "Karl Lagerfeld reinvented the brand's codes created by (founder) Gabrielle Chanel: the Chanel jacket and suit, the little black dress, the precious tweeds, the two-tone shoes, the quilted handbags, the pearls and costume jewelry. Regarding Gabrielle Chanel, he said, 'My job is not to do what she did, but what she would have done. The good thing about Chanel is it is an idea you can adapt to many things,'" the release added.
Alain Wertheimer, Chanel's chief executive, said in the release: "Today, not only have I lost a friend, but we have all lost an extraordinary creative mind to whom I gave carte blanche in the early 1980s to reinvent the brand."
Tributes poured in from the world of haute couture.
Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH, the conglomerate that runs fashion house Fendi, called Lagerfeld a "creative genius." Lagerfeld led Chanel's design and had been the creative head at Fendi since 1965.
"With the passing of Karl Lagerfeld we have lost a creative genius who helped to make Paris the fashion capital of the world and Fendi one of the most innovative Italian houses. We owe him a great deal: his taste and talent were the most exceptional I have ever known. Artistic director of Jean Patou in 1959, creator of Fendi since 1965, member of the LVMH Prize jury since its creation in 2013, he honored the LVMH group with an extraordinarily stimulating creative and entrepreneurial friendship," Arnault said.
New York Times fashion critic Vanessa Friedman tweeted: "In honor of Karl Lagerfeld, who died today, some of his indelible quotes and quips: 'Sweatpants are a sign of defeat;' 'I'm very much down to earth. Just not this earth;'"
Italian designer Donatella Versace also praised Lagerfeld's talent, writing on Instagram: "Karl your genius touched the lives of so many, especially Gianni and I. We will never forget your incredible talent and endless inspiration. We were always learning from you."