If you know fashion brands, chances are you know Karl Lagerfeld. What you probably do not know is Lagerfeld is degrading, insensitive and sexist, according to his latest interview.
Lagerfeld is most famous for his skills in design, including his ownership of Chanel, Fendi and his personal brand. While he is praised for his capacity in the fashion world, in a recent interview with French fashion magazine Numéro, Lagerfeld put his foot in his mouth one too many times.
The interview was translated to English by several American sources, including W Magazine. During the interview, Lagerfeld bashed other countries and celebrities. Lagerfeld made degrading statements toward Russian male citizens, called singer/songwriter Adele fat and said actress Meryl Streep is “cheap.”
They also asked Lagerfeld why he has not publicly mourned Alaïa, another famous designer who passed away last November. Instead of making a direct statement, Lagerfeld ripped apart the former designer’s legacy.
He eventually acknowledged Alaïa’s death by comparing it to losing one of his worst enemies. To conclude the statements about Alaïa, Lagerfeld said “il ne faisait plus que des ballerines pour fashion victims ménopausées,” which translates to: “All he did was make ballet slippers for menopausal fashion victims.”
I wish this was the worst of the interview, but it was only the beginning.
While all the previous statements are derogatory, perhaps his worst statements were made on the French version of the #MeToo movement: #BalanceTonPorc (#OutYourPig).
Lagerfeld said he has “had enough” of the movement, and he proceeded to attack victims for waiting so long to come forward about their stories.
He then went on to bring up fellow designer Karl Templer, who was accused by three models of sexual misconduct earlier this year. Lagerfeld essentially said the accusations were a lie and he does not understand why any model would accuse a designer of sexual misconduct after trying to undress her.
“Si vous ne voulez pas qu’on vous tire sur la culotte, ne devenez pas mannequin,” Lagerfeld said. The phrase translates to, “If you don’t want your pants pulled about, don’t become a model.”
Lagerfeld then said models who prefer others to not touch them inappropriately should join a nunnery.
If you ever wonder how why our culture continues to oversexualize and objectify women, Lagerfeld is just one example. Society holds this man up as one of the all-time most talented fashion designers, and yet, he has no respect for the women who showcase his designs.
We continue to perpetuate the objectification of women in our society because we do nothing about men like Lagerfeld. He has the courage to say such things because he knows he will face no repercussions.
Strong movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp are futile if we cannot get to the root of the matter, and the fashion world is one of the biggest arenas for sexual abuse.