Karl Lagerfeld spent over six decades as a fashion designer helping define and popularize brands like Fendi and Chanel. Lagerfeld created Fendi’s famous “FF” and Chanel’s “double C” logos. He turned Chanel from a sleepy brand mostly known for its fragrances into one of the world’s most recognizable luxury labels. He understood the value of turning runways into spectacles so he called in 265-ton icebergs or launched actual rockets into space for his show sets. Granted, the late Lagerfeld was problematic, but his impact on fashion is unquestionable. He was one of the first designers to weave youth culture with traditional brands while becoming a prolific individual in his own right.
Because of his impact, the Met Gala’s theme this year is centered on his illustrious career. But there’s also a reason why rappers like Cam’ron and Nicki Minaj have name-dropped Lagerfeld on their songs. Aside from being associated with some of the world’s finest luxury labels, Lagerfeld understood the influence of hip-hop early on. Here’s various moments throughout his career where his work intersected with hip-hop culture.