Karl Lagerfeld Tells CNN His Name is Actually Karl Labelfeld and that Coco Chanel Would Have Hated His Work

Karl Lagerfeld is many things, not the least of which is a smart business man. CNN's Alina Cho explored this side of the designer/photographer/direct
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Karl Lagerfeld is many things, not the least of which is a smart business man. CNN's Alina Cho explored this side of the designer/photographer/direct

Karl Lagerfeld is many things, not the least of which is a smart business man. CNN's Alina Cho explored this side of the designer/photographer/director/perfumier, who's shilled everything from luxury pens to washing machines. It's for the upcoming show Fashion: Backstage Pass From Paris. In this preview clip, he discusses making Chanel relevant:

You know, when I was asked to do it, Chanel wasn't trendy at all... I'm not proud of the business. If you can make something, OK. If not, I'll sell it. And we made something out of it because he gave me total freedom.... The label has an image. It's up to me to update it. What I did, [Coco Chanel] never did, she would have hated.

...Coming up with fresh ideas each season:

I have Alzheimer's for my own work and I do that on purpose. I think that's a very good thing because today too many people remember what they did. Forget it all and start again.

...Branding himself:

I'm a walking label. My name is Labelfeld, not Lagerfeld.

Speaking of which, the interview is well timed, as Karl's new perfume, Karleidoscope, comes out tomorrow.

Afterwards, Alina Cho says Karl "could not have been nicer" and that she saw him in a rare moment without his glasses, reporting that he "looks pretty much the same," which, um, we kind of don't believe her because have you seen this picture??

Fashion: Backstage Pass From Paris airs Saturday on CNN and also features interviews with Christian Louboutin, Marc Jacobs and Dior CEO Sidney Toledano. Sounds juicy!