Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

'Vanity is the healthiest thing in life': Karl Lagerfeld in his own words

Share this article

'Vanity is the healthiest thing in life': Karl Lagerfeld in his own words
Karl Lagerfeld in Berlin in 2015 with a drawing of his cat Choupette. Photo: DPA
13:29 CET+01:00
Designer Karl Lagerfeld was not just fashion's great survivor, he was also one of its most wicked wits.

We looked at some of the most memorable quotes of the Hamburg-born fashion designer, artistic director at Chanel, who as died aged 85 in Paris. 

SEE ALSO: Karl Lagerfeld, fashion's quickwitted king, dies aged 85 in Paris

On himself 

"I am very much down to earth. Just not this earth."

On pyjamas 

 "Everybody should go to bed dressed like they have a date at the door."

On fashion show 'highs' 

"I'm a kind of fashion nymphomaniac who never gets an orgasm."

On intellectuals 

"I hate intellectual conversation with intellectuals because I only care about my opinion."

On selfies 

"Electronic masturbation."

The designer in Berlin. Photo: DPA

On his sunglasses 

"They are 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."

On vanity 

"Vanity is the healthiest thing in life."

On learning languages 

"Anyone who is not at least trilingual is a hick." 

On Andy Warhol 

"I shouldn't say this, but physically he was quite repulsive."

On short men 
"I have a terrible loathing of ugly short men... women can be short but for men it is impossible. It is something that they will never forgive in life... they are mean and they want to kill you."

 On 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 go from what Chanel was to what it should be, could be, what it had been to something else."

 On his secret 
"I am a sort of vampire, taking the blood of other people."

 On children

"Having adult children makes you look 100 years old. I don't want that."

On love 

"The only love I really believe in is a mother's love for her children."

On the oldest profession

"I'm rather pro-prostitution. I admire people who do it. It can't be much fun. Thank goodness for it. People need relief or they become murderers. Frustration is the mother of crime, and so there would be much more crime without prostitutes and without porn movies."

 On the aesthetically challenged 

"I hate ugly people. They are very depressing."

On Russian men

"If I was a Russian woman I would be lesbian. Russian men are not good looking."

On retirement

"Why should I stop working? If I do I'll die and it'll all be finished."


Lagerfeld at a show in Paris. Photo: DPA

On homosexuality 

 "When I asked my mother what homosexuality was, she said it was the colour of your hair, and she was right. It is nothing."

On gloves 

 "When I was 14, I wanted to smoke because I wanted to look grown-up. But my mother said: 'You shouldn't smoke. Your hands are not that beautiful and that shows when you smoke.'"

On hats

"My mother used to say, 'You shouldn't wear hats. You look like an old dyke.' Do you say such things to children? She was quite funny, no?"

On sports clothing 

"Whoever wears running pants has lost control over his life."

On being a legend 

"A sense of humour and a little lack of respect: that's what you need to make a legend survive."

On overworking

"We cannot talk about suffering. People buy dresses to be happy, not to hear about somebody who suffered over a piece of taffeta." 

 On mobile phones 

"I send notes. I'm not a chambermaid whom you can ring at every moment. Today, you know, most people act like they work at a switchboard in a hotel."

On creating

"I have a sort of Alzheimer's for my own work, which I think is a very good thing. Today too many people remember what they did -- just forget it all and start again."

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.
Become a Member or sign-in to leave a comment.

From our sponsors

Why Europe's top talent still flocks to London

London has always had a certain allure that pulls in entrepreneurs from near and far. As one of the world’s most connected cities, a top financial centre and a multicultural melting pot, countless professionals from Europe and beyond are drawn to London like moths to a flame.