Karl Lagerfeld, the legendary Chanel creative director, has passed away in Paris at the age of 85.

Lagerfeld’s iconic ponytail and dark glasses made him an instantly recognizable figure around the world.

Industry fashion leaders, including Italian designer Donatella Versace, have issued heartfelt tributes.

“Karl, your genius touched the lives of so many, especially Gianni and I,” Donatella wrote, referencing her late brother. “We will never forget your incredible talent and endless inspiration. We were always learning from you.”

Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, said in a statement: “Today the world lost a giant among men.”

Wintour, who was in London for fashion week shows, said she will miss Lagerfeld “so very much.”

Lagerfeld was one of the most hardworking figures in the fashion world holding down the top design jobs at LVMH-owned luxury label Fendi from 1977, and Paris’ family-owned power-house Chanel in 1983.

Rumors of Lagerfeld’s ill health had circled for several weeks after he missed a number of events – including Chanel’s spring/summer show last month.

The German-born designer died on Tuesday morning after being admitted to hospital the night before, French media report.