Karl Lagerfeld, the legendary German fashion designer who spent decades as the creative director of Chanel, died Tuesday, February 19, in Paris. He was 85 years old.

Lagerfeld had been working up until his death but was sick in recent weeks. In January, he missed Chanel’s couture fashion show, with the brand attributing his noticeable absence to tiredness.

“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,” Bernard Arnault, the CEO of the luxury fashion conglomerate LVMH, said in a statement. “We owe him a great deal: his taste and talent were the most exceptional I have ever known.”

Lagerfeld was arguably the world’s most visible living designer. He had driven the creative vision at Chanel since he joined the company in 1983, and worked as the creative director of the Italian fashion house Fendi. His signature look — dressing all in black, with leather gloves, sunglasses, and white hair worn in a ponytail — made him a recognizable and celebrated character in fashion.