Karl Lagerfeld said what was on his mind. The prolific and iconic fashion designer died Tuesday in Paris at age 85.
And he’s left a lasting mark on the popular culture through his fashion, his art, films he directed and, his words. Some painful, some controversial and some hilarious. And always, all Lagerfeld.
In the “The World According to Karl,” author Patrick Mauries says “His wise, surprising statements pop up like offbeat news flashes and are regularly seized upon by fashionistas, acolytes, and sages the world over.”
Indeed, his most famous, about sweatpants, while perhaps not surprising, was seized upon and, as can be seen today as the world learns of his death and begins to grieve, it is this quote that has ruled the day:
“Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.”
Here are some of the most oft-quoted sayings from the German-born designer, known colloquially as ‘Karlisms’:
‘I’m a Kind of Fashion Nymphomaniac Who Never Gets an Orgasm’
“Inspiring, intriguing and sometimes provocative: ‘Karlism’ quotes invite you to see the world through the designer’s eyes.”
‘My Autobiography? I Don’t Have to Write It, I’m Living It’
‘I’m Very Much Down to Earth. Just Not This Earth’
Lagerfeld could not suffer fat people. And he made no bones about it. Even about Adele he said, “The thing at the moment is Adele. She is a little too fat, but she has a beautiful face and a divine voice.”
In a longer quote, Lagerfeld was quoted as saying, “There are not too many people with an opinion I care for. I’m not crazy to discuss fashion…These are fat mummies sitting with their bags of crisps in front of the television, saying that thin models are ugly. Fashion is about dreams and illusions, and no one wants to see round women…In a meat-eating world, wearing leather for shoes and clothes and even handbags, the discussion of fur is childish.”
He also said, “Elegance is a physical quality. If a woman doesn’t have it naked, she’ll never have it clothed.’
‘If You Are Cheap, Nothing Helps’
“Life is not a beauty contest, some [ugly people] are great. What I hate is nasty, ugly people. The worst is ugly short men. Women can be short, but for men it is impossible. It is something that they will not forgive in life—they are mean and they want to kill you,” he’s quoted as saying.
“I know how annoying, impossible and hard to please I can be. I wouldn’t recommend myself as a guest to anyone.”