Lagerfeld is doing serious damage control following an interview in which he called French President François Hollande an “idiot”–apparently, it was taken out of context.
Lagerfeld guest edited the 25th anniversary edition of Marie Claire Spain, and in an interview with EIC Joana Bonet he took the French president to task for his taxation plan, which includes high tax rates for businesses and the wealthy–in other words, Chanel’s clientele. The press rather gleefully seized on his use of the word “imbécil” (aka idiot), and he’s been backpedaling all weekend.
He went on a national French TV show on Sunday night to clarify his comments, WWD is reporting. “Of course I never said that! I don’t speak Spanish, I speak a little of Italian but no Spanish,” he said. “I saw him [Hollande] on TV and I found him very fun, spiritual and intelligent,” adding, “The luxury business is an industry that makes a lot of money and should not be considered like something we should be ashamed off.”
Marie Claire‘s Bonet gave WWD a statement over the weekend, saying that Karl’s comments were taken out of context. “I confirm that the declaration (and the word ‘imbécil’) was taken out of context,” she said. “Karl Lagerfeld was referring to Hollande’s policies, especially those connected with the taxes pertaining to large fortunes.” So in other words, the policies are “idiotic,” not the man himself. Got it.