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Karl Lagerfeld has spoken out about the #MeToo movement.
The bristly Chanel designer, who over the years has ruffled his fair share of feathers with controversial opinions on everything from Adele’s weight to Kim Kardashian’s 2016 robbery, revealed in a candid interview with Numero magazine that he is “fed up” with the #MeToo movement.
“What shocks me most in all of this are the starlets who have taken 20 years to remember what happened,” he told interviewer Philip Utz. “Not to mention the fact there are no prosecution witnesses.” He then criticizes new regulations that have been adopted by some photo studios and modeling agencies with the interest of protecting young models.
“I read somewhere that now you must ask a model if she is comfortable with posing. It’s simply too much, from now on, as a designer, you can’t do anything,” he said before going on to defend stylist Karl Templer, who was accused of sexual misconduct by a models who claimed he “aggressively [pulled] down their underwear without asking them” in an exposé published by the Boston Globe in February. “It’s unbelievable. If you don’t want your pants pulled about, don’t become a model! Join a nunnery, there’ll always be a place for you in the convent. They’re recruiting even!”
He added, however, that he “cannot stand Mr. Weinstein,” but noted his distaste for the predatory movie producer was of a professional nature.
Despite his many eyebrow-raising comments and the occasional jab at the morals of Meryl Streep, nothing seems to stick to Lagerfeld, who also holds the creative reins at Fendi and his eponymous label, and still finds time to dabble in political cartoons.
But it’s not his inflammatory comments that make Lagerfeld believe that those in the industry are bothered by him. “Personally, I’ve never complained,” he said. “And that is exactly why all the other designers hate me. They are only interested in their damn ‘inspirations,’ they can spend an hour deciding where a button should go, or choosing sketches done by their assistants, which riles me to distraction. I am a machine.”
He added, “When you are running a billion-dollar business, you must keep up. And if it doesn’t suit you, then you may as well mess around in your bedroom.”
He has also stood out with other designers because of the frankness with which he judges their talent. When asked, “Between Virgil Abloh, Jacquemus and Jonathan Anderson, who would you willingly take to a dessert island to end your days with?” he replied candidly, “I’d kill myself first.”
At 84 years old, rumors regarding Lagerfeld’s successor at Chanel have been circling for some time (they resurfaced following Haider Akermann’s departure from Berluti just last month, as he once mentioned him as a possible successor), but the designer assured Utz that he’s in good health, despite his age. “I’ve had every test under the sun and they can’t find anything wrong,” he said. “Call me back in 10 years and we’ll talk about it again.”
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