Karl Lagerfeld, the unstoppable force of fashion industry has no plans to slow down anytime soon. The 82-year old is the creative director of fashion powerhouse, Chanel. Always dressed in his midnight black glasses, starched collars, and white ponytail, he has eventually mastered the art of building a legacy, keeping up with a fast-paced & always changing fashion industry, and branding. The German expat is not only maintaining the high-end legacy left by Coco Chanel or directing Fendi’s creative team, the signature styled entrepreneur designs for his own label as well.
"If you are not a good bullfighter, don't enter the arena.”- Lagerfeld quotes.
In 1983, Coco Chanel left way bigger shoes for Lagerfeld to fill in; he pushed the iconic fashion brand on the No.85 in the Forbes’ list of most valuable global brand. His name is synonymous with high-end fashion. Under the strong leadership of Lagerfeld, the French powerhouse has maintained to be at the top name in fashion industry during his 32 year tenure.
Let us explore the leadership virtues by the trend-setter and the most iconic man in the Fashion Industry.
Educate yourself: Be Your Own Tutor
Educating yourself is very important. The lessons learned in classes, book, or through people, are all good, but the lessons that you learn by yourself holds the highest importance. Teach yourself regards to cultivating yourself. Always take in the full knowledge of the stuff you pursuit as a passion. Whether you are a writer, designer, lawyer, or a simple salesman, always teach yourself all aspects of your field. As a leader, self-education is very important. Your followers cannot learn the core unless you show them the way. Lagerfeld loves to teach himself and devotes himself on learning language and arts. Do what you love, even if you have a very busy schedule to follow through. Being a leader isn’t easy if you do not consider yourself capable of learning things on your own.
Be ready to embrace the most popular culture
The most brilliant characteristic of a remarkable industry leader is they are willing to cross the realms of their comfort zone and think according to the trend-setting culture. They are never afraid to take risks, which eventually may reverse the flow of industry and push them at the top. Industry leaders always stay updated with ongoing culture and technology.
A good leader is always curious about things. They always crave for more and keep discovering. For instance, Lagerfeld is one such leader who constantly keeps thinking about the new strategies, involvements, potential designs, and much more. A good leader never stops questioning on the basis of what everyone would think about him. Indecisiveness always comes in the way of work process. As a leader, try to find various answers. Stay curious.
Set the bar very High
As a successful business leader you should aim at setting the standards high for anyone to compete. In this aspect, Chanel is a luxuriant designer house, and the shows hosted by it are expected to be nothing less than grandiose. To keep up with the demand, Karl sets bars high for each and every member in his design team. It is a very effective way to push the brand to a further level. Always parade the organization’s finest. That is the key.
Karl has always been regarded as the one who sets uncompromising and high standards for another fleet of designers. Even after being regarded as a successful leader and entrepreneur, he does not consider himself as a businessman. Instead, he considers himself as ‘a hired gun’ in his own business.
Read more about Leadership on Industry Leaders Magazine, a Business Magazine