Karl Lagerfeld’s most iconic quotes

Earlier today the House of CHANEL announced the passing of Karl Lagerfeld, the Creative Director for the CHANEL Fashion House since 1983. In a tribute to the legendary, extraordinary designer we share his most iconic quotes that will be in our memory forever.

1973 – On his boudoir:

“If you see it you will think about everything except sex, because it is the unsexiest room ever. I love unsexy bedrooms.”

1975 – On his working practices:

“I am a sort of vampire, taking the blood of other people.”

1978 – On his early start:

“When I was four I asked my mother for a valet for my birthday.”

1984 – On Yves Saint Laurent:

“He is very middle-of-the-road French-very pied-noir, very provincial.”

karl lagerfeld - backstage tales

1984 – On his feelings following a fashion show:

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

1997 – On living on his own:

“I live in a set, with the curtains of the stage closed with no audience – but who cares?”

2004 – On his collaboration with H&M and relying less on cost and more on the individual’s sense of style:

“Chic is a kind of mayonnaise, either it tastes, or it doesn’t.”

2004 – On weight loss:

“I lost 200lb to wear suits by Hedi Slimane.”

2006 – On music and technology:

“The iPod is genius. I have 300.”

2006 – On staying healthy:

“Vanity is the healthiest thing in life.”

2007 – On his feelings prior to a fashion show:

“I have no human feelings.”

2007 – On being labelled a squanderer:

“If you throw money out of the window throw it out with joy. Don’t say: ‘one shouldn’t do that’ – that is bourgeois.”

karl lagerfeld - backstage tales

2007 – On his inimitable image:

“I am like a caricature of myself, and I like that. It is like a mask. And for me the Carnival of Venice lasts all year long.”

2007 – On being childless:

“They grow so fast, and having adult children makes you look 100 years old. I don’t want that.”

2009 – On Heidi Klum:

“I don’t know Heidi Klum. She was never known in France. Claudia Schiffer also doesn’t know who she is.”

2009 – On his bedtime routine:

“I’m very impeccable and clean before I go to bed. It’s just like right before I’m going out. When I was a child, my mother always told me that you could wake up in the middle of the night and be deathly sick, so you always have to be impeccable. I laugh about it now, but I think everyone should go to bed like they have a date at the door.”

2010 – On sunglasses:

“They’re my burka… I’m a little shortsighted, and people, when they’re shortsighted, they remove their glasses and then they look like cute little dogs who want to be adopted.”

karl lagerfeld - backstage tales

2010 – On interview ettiquette:

“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?'”

2010 – On fame:

“You cannot fight against it. There’s a price you have to pay for fame, and people who don’t want to pay that price can get in trouble. I accepted the idea of celebrity because of a French expression: ‘You cannot have the butter and the money for the butter.'”

2010 – On fur and animal cruelty:

“It is farmers who are nice to the cows and the pigs and then kill them. It’s even more hypocritical than hunters. At least the hunters don’t flatter the animals. 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.”

karl lagerfeld - backstage tales

2010 – On smoking:

“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.'”

2011 – On designers who complain:

“Please don’t say I work hard. Nobody is forced to do this job and if they don’t like it, they should do another one. If it’s too much, do something else. But don’t start doing it and then say, ‘Aaaah, it’s too much’. Because a lot of people depend on it. What we do at Chanel, thousands of people work on these things; these things are sold in hundreds and hundreds of shops all over the world. People like the big machine, and the money the big machine involves, but the effort… Then, suddenly, they become artists. They are too weak. Too fragile. Non. We have to be tough. We cannot talk about our suffering. People buy dresses to be happy, not to hear about somebody who suffered over a piece of taffeta. Me, I like to make an effort. I like nothing better than concrete reality. I’m a very down-to-earth person, but it is my job to make that earth more pleasant.”

karl lagerfeld - backstage tales

2011 – On Coco Chanel:

“What I do Coco would have hated. The label has an image and it’s up to me to update it. I do what she never did. I had to find my mark. I had to go from what Chanel was to what it should be, could be, what it had been to something else.”

2012 – On retirement and work:

“Why should I stop working? If I do, I’ll die and it’ll all be finished. ‘m lucky to work in the most perfect of conditions. I can do what I want in all kinds of areas. The expenses are not expenses. I would be stupid to stop that. Work is making a living out of being bored.”

2012 – On his beloved cat, Choupette:

“You know, personally, I don’t even think I’m that famous. Now, Choupette really is famous. She has become the most famous cat in the world. I even get propositioned by pet food companies and things like that, but it’s out of the question. I’m commercial. She’s not. She’s spoiled to death. Obviously.”

RELATED: ‘Fashion is a mess’ – Karl Lagerfeld.

karl lagerfeld - backstage tales

Rest In Peace, Karl. We will miss you, but your legacy will live on forever.


Images: Vogue, Karl Lagerfeld Achieves, WWD

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