We get it. Karl Lagerfeld says insane things in interviews all the time. But! This one is different.
In the inaugural issue of Fairchild’s new quarterly men’s magazine M, the theme of which is “ambition,” Lagerfeld answers questions geared towards a male audience that might not coo over every Choupette anecdote. Thus, it’s a rare opportunity to read him talking about his own personal style and grooming habits. In fact, it’s borderline service-y. We could all stand to learn a few things from Karl, I think.
From his grooming rituals to the origins of his now 35-year-old ponytail, click through for the most fascinating things we learned about the man, the myth–the Kaiser.
He uses Dior Homme in stead of a scale to gauge weight gain:
I never had one button retouched [of Dior Homme]. It’s better than any bathroom scale, huh? Clothes tell the truth.
His thoughts on fitness:
Fitness is as boring as sickness as a subject.
He once almost froze to death because he didn’t have the coat he wanted:
I remember one time in winter in 1956–it was beyond cold. And I went to see my father at the George V with only a suit on…He said to me, “But you will die! You will get pneumonia!” And I said, “I prefer to die than to wear another coat than the robe style in blue cashmere in the Dorian Gray window. If not that one, I prefer to freeze.” So he bought the coat.
On how he arrived at his current hairdo:
When I was tired of the fashion for long, curly hair–because my hair was curly-I started to attach it. It was in 1976. So that means that I have had the ponytail for 35 or 36 years! Not bad, no? It’s the easiest hairdo. I’m not very gifted for hairdos. I don’t like gel and all those products. It’s perfect with this white powder, because my hair is not that white at all.
Non-handmade shirts are torture:
If you’re accustomed to a handmade shirt by Hilditch, a ready-bought shirt is like wearing some torture stuff.
His mom gave him a hat complex:
The other thing that doesn’t work on me is a hat. I love hats, in a way, but when I was a child, I’d wear Tyrolean hats, and my mother–I was something like eight–said to me, ‘You shouldn’t wear hats. You look like an old dyke.’ Do you say such things to children? She was quite funny, no?
He’s not a fan of tattoos:
I think tattoos are horrible. It’s like living in a Pucci dress full-time. If you’re young and tight, maybe it’s OK, but…
He has physical footwear allergies:
I hate sloppy footwear. What I hate most is flip-flops. I am physically allergic to flip-flops.
[Ed. note: I totally sympathize.]
He didn’t want to build a big empire, and isn’t interested in money (huh?):
I never wanted to build a big empire. I am too superficial for that. I like the sketching, but I don’t want any responsibility for people. I don’t want to look at numbers. I know how to spend, I know how to make for my private use, but I am not interested to make money in terms of a company.
On whether he has guilt about how much he spends on clothes:
Gilded, OK. Guilt, no.
He wears cut out gloves to make his arm longer (and you know what that means…):
Because in the old protocol, it is impolite to say hello to somebody who is wearing gloves. And you know I cannot sketch if I have leather here [on my fingertips]. It also makes the arm longer. And you know what it means in French to have a long arm? It means you are influential.
And finally, he gives himself manicures:
I hate manicures. I do them myself. I’m pretty good at it. I cannot stand someone touching my fingers.
Who can, Karl? Who can.