Karl Lagerfeld and the Controversies That Color His Fashion Legacy

On another occasion, he elaborated, “You’ve got fat mothers with their bags of chips sitting in front of the television and saying that thin models are ugly.” Clearly, he went on to imply, fashion had never been meant for them.

Mr. Lagerfeld was no fan of the #MeToo movement, either, inquiring in an explosive 2018 interview why some women took years to publicly share their stories of sexual assault. “I’m fed up with it,” he told Numéro magazine. “What shocks me most in all of this are the starlets who have taken 20 years to remember what happened. Not to mention the fact there are no prosecution witnesses.”

Gay marriage was another target. “I’m against it for a very simple reason,” he said in 2010. “In the ’60s, they all said we had the right to the difference. And now, suddenly, they want a bourgeois life.”

Few revered icons were spared his disdain. In an interview with New York magazine, he said of Diana, Princess of Wales, “She was pretty and she was sweet, but she was stupid.” Nor did he hold back on Andy Warhol: “I shouldn’t say this, but physically, he was quite repulsive.”

He admired Kate Middleton, but not her sister, Pippa, saying that he didn’t like her face and that “she should only show her back.” As for Lana Del Rey, “Is she a construct with all her implants?”

Mr. Lagerfeld could often be as hard on himself.

He claimed that he had no vaunted ideals. “My only ambition,” he said, “is to wear size 28 jeans.” He would write no memoirs: “I have nothing to say,” he stated flatly. And, as he hinted, contentment often eluded him.

As he said, “I’m a kind of fashion nymphomaniac who never gets an orgasm.”

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