Karl Lagerfeld is famous for his design capacity, helming not just Chanel but also Fendi and his own namesake brand simultaneously. At the same time, though, he also has a real capacity for putting his politically incorrect, often offensive foot in his mouth. Among many other things, he's said that if he were Russian, he'd be a lesbian because the men are so ugly; called Adele "a little fat," then later took credit for her weight loss; claimed that Kim Kardashian's life-threatening robbery was her fault; and dared to call Meryl Streep cheap.
In that regard, the latest bunch of quotables he served up in a new interview with Numéro do not disappoint: The designer sounds off on the late design legend Azzedine Alaïa, before noting he'd rather kill himself than spend time with the buzzy new names in fashion right now. There's plenty more where that came from, too. Just read on.
On designers who make him suicidal:
When asked to rank the buzziest names in fashion today—Simon Porte Jacquemus, Jonathan Anderson, and Virgil Abloh—Lagerfeld instead responds by pointing to his appreciation for the Rihanna- and LVMH-approved up-and-comer Marine Serre. (Even though, as he points out, she's only four-foot-nine.) When pressed on those three initial names, though—specifically whom he'd choose to spend his life with on a deserted island—he responds quite succinctly: "I'd kill myself first."
On not mourning Alaïa:
In quite a departure from pretty much everyone who's familiar with Azzedine Alaïa, when Lagerfeld gets to talking about the legendary designer, who died last November, he opts to go off about how absurd it was that he apparently credited Lagerfeld with setting the unsustainable pace expected in fashion today. When acknowledging his death, he simply refers to it as losing one of his enemies—along with Pierre Bergé, Yves Saint Laurent's longtime partner, whose death he says prompted his florist to ask if he wanted to send a cactus as his condolences. Getting back to Alaïa, though, Lagerfeld attempts to clarify that he doesn't criticize the designer, before going on to do exactly that, adding that by the end of his career, "il ne faisait plus que des ballerines pour fashion victims ménopausées." (You might want to take a breath before reading this translation: "all he did was make ballet slippers for menopausal fashion victims.")
On not designing for coke heads:
When discussing the many, many collections he designs for Chanel each year and how they extend far beyond the four he's contracted to create, he mentions Coco Snow—and pauses to assure his interviewer that it's not a capsule collection for cocaïnomanes, aka cocaine addicts.
When asked about his thoughts on the movement #BalanceTonPorc—aka #OutYourPig, or the French version of #MeToo—Lagerfeld responds by saying he's had enough of it. (And pointing out that, haha, he does not eat pork.) To him, it's more shocking that it's taken all these starlettes 20 years to remember being assaulted or harassed. Lagerfeld is definitely inaccurate on that point, but he does manage to at least agree with something that the entire world agrees on: hating Harvey Weinstein.
Unsurprisingly, then, Lagerfeld goes on to say that neither movement has remotely affected how he operates his workplaces, and that something he'd read about how one must ask models if they were comfortable when posing is akin to opening the doors for creators to stop being able to do anything anymore. As an example, he brings up "poor" Karl Templer, whom three models accused of sexual harassment in February, and who was until yesterday Interview's creative director. Lagerfeld, of course, doesn't believe a word of the accusations, and is outraged that a girl complaining that he'd pulled down her pants would excommunicate him from the profession in which he's so venerated. Opening things up to the industry at large, he continues: "Si vous ne voulez pas qu’on vous tire sur la culotte, ne devenez pas mannequin !", or, "If you don’t want your pants pulled about, don’t become a model!" (He follows this up by adding you'd be better off joining a convent.)
On his new beard:
Apparently, the idea for growing out his facial hair came after Lagerfeld revisited a portrait that Helmut Newton took of him about 40 years ago, long before he turned gray.
What Lagerfeld has found funny since revisiting the gray look is that now he resembles Choupette, his multimillionaire cat whom he says will be the heir to his fortune, making them "really an old couple." Indeed, Lagerfeld says that Choupette is in fact the one who now maintains his beard, as she's fond of licking it when they're in bed. (They sleep on the same pillow.) He also expresses his wish to be incinerated, and to have his ashes mixed with those of his mother and Choupette, if she dies before he does.
On his armpit hair:
It's apparently pretty much nonexistent. In fact, besides his very full head of hair, which he's quite proud of, Lagerfeld claims not to have any hair on his chest, on his thighs, or—"Dieu merci!"—on his back.