Death announced in Monaco of Otto Kern, top couturier

Otto Kern with Ehefrau Naomi Valeska at UNESCO Charity Gala 2012. Photo: Michael Schilling
Otto Kern with Naomi Valeska at UNESCO Charity Gala 2012. Photo: Michael Schilling

The entrepreneur and designer Otto Kern has died in Monaco at the age of 67 from, as reported by German media, a heart attack.

An investigation has been launched after the body of the long-time Monaco resident was found on the terrace of a building on avenue Princess Grace, having fallen, according to one source, from his thirteenth floor apartment.

Kern was born in Nürtingen near Stuttgart and first studied law and economics in Frankfurt before entering women’s fashion in the early 1970s.

His successes earned him the title “The King of Shirts and Blouses”. Later he extended his reach into perfumes and other cosmetics.

In 2000, the brand name Otto Kern became part of the Herford-based men’s fashion group Ahlers, which also includes Baldessarini and Pierre Cardin. The Otto Kern logo of a lion with a stylised “K” is today found on men’s shirts, jeans and sportswear, as well on women’s blouses and knitwear.

Kern spent most of his time in Monaco, and also at homes in Kitzbühel in Austria and in the Caribbean. He was married four times and leaves three children.

In 2008, when he wed model Naomi Valeska Salz, the magazine Bunte quoted him saying at that time: “This wedding will be my last and our love will last forever.”

A frequent guest at events such as the Red Cross Ball in Monaco and the Monte-Carlo Circus, Kern was at a dinner at Schloss Bellevue with the Federal President when the royal couple of Monaco visited Germany in July 2012.


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