- Net Worth: $200 million
- Birthday: September 10, 1933
- Education: St. Anne's School
Karl Lagerfeld was said to be worth around $200 million having worked as a designer for Chanel, Fendi and H&M during his long career. Lagerfeld tragically passed away on February 19 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. After his passing, Lagerfeld has been mourned by celebrities as diverse as David Beckham and Melania Trump.
Numerous sources put Lagerfeld’s net worth at around $200 million. Lagerfeld was often quoted during his life as using the expression, “You cannot have the butter and the money for the butter.”
Here’s what you need to know Lagerfeld’s colorful history with money:
1. Lagerfeld Was Accused of Tax Evasion in 2016; A Year After His Cat, Choupette, Brought in Over $3 Million in Modelling Fees
The Daily Telegraph reported in January 2016 that Lagerfeld was being investigated in France over a failure to declare in over $20 million in income. The investigation was centered around a photo studio he owned in Paris, 7L. Authorities believed that Lagerfeld had not been paying tax on the money he earned from his photography studio, where he did work for both Chanel and Fendi.
At the same time those reports surfaced, it was also reported that Lagerfeld’s cat, Choupette, had made more than $3 million in modeling fees. Lagerfeld told CNBC in January 2017 that managing his cat’s modeling career had become a full-time job. In a separate interview with The Cut, Lagerfeld said his cat made the majority of his money in a German car ad campaign and another in an ad campaign for a Japanese beauty product line.
2. During His Life, Lagerfeld Referred to Himself as ‘Working Class’
Just two months before his death, Lagerfeld told New York magazine that he considered himself to be part of the “working class.” The legendary designer said, “I think I work better now than before. My brain is clearer. And I want to work. I’m working class.”
Lagerfeld went on to say that if wasn’t a designer, Lagerfeld said that he could have seen himself becoming a farmer saying thanks to his love of cows. Lagerfeld was also quoted by GQ as saying, “I am working class. I work with class.”
3. Lagerfeld Said He Thought Wealthy People Who Said They Were Socialists Were ‘Obscene’
Lagerfeld spoke about his wealth with regards to his politics in a February 2010 interview with Vice. Lagerfeld said, “Give your money away and live the life that you are fighting for. That’s the way it should be. I hate rich people when they try to be communists or socialists. I think it’s obscene.” In the same interview, Lagerfeld spoke about his opulent lifestyle saying that he traveled everywhere in a chauffeur-driven car, with bodyguards while drinking champagne. When traveling internationally, Lagerfeld said that he always flew in a private jet.
4. Lagerfeld’s 2 Bosses at Chanel Had a Net Worth of Over $25 Billion Between Them
In the summer of 2018, Chanel, a privately held company, opened their books to reveal the fashion house’s joint owners, Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, who are brothers, have a net worth of over $25 billion between them, according to Bloomberg. While Alain Wertheimer’s personal wealth is estimated at over $14.7 billion by Forbes. In aftermath of Lagerfeld’s death, Bloomberg described the designer as “becoming” a $10 billion company under Lagerfeld’s tenure.
5. Lagerfeld Said: ‘Fashion People Are Fashion, They Are Not Politics’
Earlier, in February 2017, Lagerfeld told the Wall Street Journal’s magazine that Americans would have to learn to “deal” with Trump. Lagerfeld said, “I knew Trump before, when he was not in politics. I’m not American, but he’s a democratically elected president of America, so people have to deal with it.” Although, Lagerfeld added, “Fashion people are fashion, they are not politics.” Lagerfeld was tapped in June 2016 to design luxury condos in Miami for the Trump Group, which is not affiliated with Donald Trump but rather is the investment firm of Eddie and Jules Trump, according to Forbes.