Karl Lagerfeld on the Speed of Fashion, His Chanel Successor & Being Hated

In a striking new interview, Philip Utz sat down with Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld, whom Utz describes as “a truly free spirit,” “a cult figure in the fashion world,” “a veritable pop icon,” and a lacking in “taboos,” the duo talks about everything from the speed of fashion and the #MeToo movement to who Lagerfeld would like to see replace him at Chanel and who he thinks are particularly talented young creatives. Here are a few of our favorite excerpts from the interview (which you can read in its entirety here) …

On the speed of fashion: Personally, I’ve never complained. 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 ... When you are running a billion-dollar business, you must keep up. And if is doesn’t suit you, then you may as well mess around in your bedroom.

On his 2010 statement that he wanted Haider Ackermann to succeed him at Chanel: Yes, but that was a long time ago ... [Today] I don’t propose anything or anyone, because the house of Chanel doesn’t belong to me.

On how #MeToo has affected his work: I read somewhere that now you must ask a model if she is comfortable with posing … Its 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!

When asked to rank Simon Porte Jacquemus, Virgil Abloh and Jonathan Anderson in order of talent, Lagerfeld’s response was this: The designers I prefer, in disorder, Marine Serre – 1m50 but a will of steel – Jacquemus, who makes me laugh… and who is rather pretty too. He is funny, yes. And to conclude J. W. Anderson, even if his approach is occasionally over intellectualised – undoubtedly, I haven’t done the required studies.