Vice Magazine’s latest interview with Karl Lagerfeld bears testament to the fact that the Creative Director behind Chanel’s $10 billion empire is a man of words; some weird, others wonderful, mostly wise.
Truth is only a question of point of view.
On not removing his sunglasses ever:
They’re my burka.
I had an interview once with some German journalist—some horrible, ugly woman. It was in the early days after the communists—maybe a week after—and she wore a yellow sweater that was kind of see-through. She had huge tits and a huge black bra, and she said to me, “It’s impolite; remove your glasses.” I said, “Do I ask you to remove your bra?”
On his youth:
I was a beach boy in my youth.
On being politically correct:
But hard work is like being politically correct. Be politically correct, but please don’t bother other people with conversation about being politically correct, because that’s the end of everything. You want to create boredom? Be politically correct in your conversation.
I’m in fashion. Politics is not my job. I don’t vote in France even though foreigners here can. I will never vote in my life.
When I was a child I asked my mother what homosexuality was about and she said—and this was 100 years ago in Germany and she was very open-minded—“It’s like hair color. It’s nothing. Some people are blond and some people have dark hair. It’s not a subject.” This was a very healthy attitude.
On nudity, sex and pornography:
(Regarding nude shots he took of French First Lady, Carla Bruni) Yes, but they were elegant and she had nothing against it. She couldn’t care less. She’s very cool like that. The photo is beautiful. I can show you the nude of her. I did it for Visionaire in 1998. Everybody knows how a man or a girl is built, and everybody goes to the beach. So where’s the problem?
I admire porn.
And I personally only like high-class escorts. I don’t like sleeping with people I really love. I don’t want to sleep with them because sex cannot last, but affection can last forever. I think this is healthy. And for the way the rich live, this is possible. But the other world, I think they need porn. I also think it’s much more difficult to perform in porn than to fake some emotion on the face as an actor.
That’s why I always say, when people talk about not using fur, “Are you rich enough to make an income for the people in the north who live from hunting? What do you want them to live off of when there’s nothing else to do?”
On meat and killing:
I have to eat meat once a week because my doctor wants me to, but I prefer fish. I don’t like that people butcher animals, but I don’t like them to butcher humans either, which is apparently very popular in the world.
People I’m really friendly with have faxes. Anna Wintour has one. We speak via fax. And in Paris I send letters to people.
On possessions and things:
It’s nice when you can afford something, but the minute you become a victim of it you shouldn’t keep it.
I cannot smoke cigarettes. I need my hands for something else. When I was 14 I wanted to smoke because my mother smoked like mad. I wanted to smoke to look grown-up. But my mother said, “You shouldn’t smoke. Your hands are not that beautiful and that shows when you smoke.”
On losing weight:
Well, there came this new line from Hedi Slimane at Dior, that you needed to be slim to wear. It said, “You want this? Go back to your bones.” And so I lost it all. I lost 88 pounds and never got them back.
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