In his later years Karl Lagerfeld, who sadly passed away this morning, was known for his distinctive look wearing dark suits, his signature white ponytail and accessorising with dark tinted glasses. While his wardrobe choices and meticulous collections remained prominent talking points throughout his career, he was also known for his controversial statements, words of wisdom and entertaining commentary on everything from fashion to business.
These are the most memorable quotes from one of fashion’s most influential players, Karl Lagerfeld during his time at the top of the fashion industry.
“I am like a caricature of myself, and I like that. It is like a mask.”
“We created a product nobody needs, but people want. If you need an ugly old car, it can wait, but if you want a new fashion item, it cannot wait.”
“Whatever it is, good or bad, it influences fashion. You can see that in fashion quicker than in any other thing going on. Fashion is something that reflects our lives and times with the shortest release, because, cars, design and architecture take years to realise.”
“Never use the word ‘cheap’. Today everybody can look chic in inexpensive clothes (the rich buy them too). There is good clothing design on every level today. You can be the chicest thing in the world in a T-shirt and jeans – it’s up to you.”
“Why should I stop working? If I do, I’ll die and it’ll all be finished. I’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.”
“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce,”
“Improvise. Become more creative. Not because you have to, but because you want to. Evolution is the secret for the next step,”
“I’m a designer, I do photos, I do books, I’m a publisher, but I don’t have the self-proclaimed label “artist.” I hate that. Very pretentious. If other people say it, it’s very flattering, but if you start to say it yourself, you better forget about it,”
“I never mix them up in my mind [Fendi, Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld]. That is the secret of the story. First of all, I prefer not to analyse why or why not. I have the feeling that when I am doing Fendi I am another person to when I am doing Chanel or my own line. I have no personality. I have three. I never ask myself questions. I try to find answers. It’s a very pretentious line, no? I am in a way like a machine. I have electronic flashes, it’s true.”
“I think I am a much more superficial person than you imagine.”
“As a child I wanted to be a grown-up. I wanted to know everything—not that I like to talk about it. I hate intellectual conversation with intellectuals because I only care about my opinion.”
“To say that there is no fashion anymore is ridiculous. The fashion of no-fashion is still fashion. And fashion is a train that waits for nobody. Get on it, or it’s gone.”