Karl Lagerfeld was born on September 10, 1938, in Hamburg, Germany, to Otto Lagerfeldt and Elisabeth Bahlmann. While the famous fashion designer has never revealed the exact date of his birth, it's believed he was born on September 10, 1933. Often lauded for his constant reinvention, he removed the "t" at the end of his last name early in his career in order to make it sound "more commercial."
His father was Swedish, from a merchant banker's family, and made the family fortune by introducing powdered milk to Europe. His elegant and fashionable mother was younger than his father, and she adored fragrances; all qualities that would strongly influence Lagerfeld's life and career.
While Lagerfeld was raised in 1930s Germany, coinciding with Hitler’s rise to power, the Lagerfeldts moved to a rural area of northern Germany, where, as Karl would later claim, he was cut off from any knowledge about the Nazis. But since his father had business interests in the firm Glücksklee-Milch GmbH, his family stayed relatively prosperous through World War II and its aftermath.