Karl Lagerfeld likes to say yes. Yes to collaborations. (H&M, Macy's, Shu Uemura...the list really never ends.) Yes to brands. (Not only does he design six collections a year for Chanel and four for Fendi, he's got his own label to look after.) Yes to reporters. ("I'll do anything for you," he said to WWD's executive editor, Bridget Foley, before she interviewed him today at the trade paper's CEO Summit.)
But he likes to say no, too, which we learned very quickly during their conversation. Take meetings, for instance. He just doesn't do them. "I've never gone to a meeting in 31 years," he says of his time at Chanel, where co-owner Alain Wertheimer "never interferes" with the creative process. Does he ever consider what will sell when he's designing? "No, thank god no. Then it becomes marketing," he said. "I hope it will [sell], but I don’t formulate—that would be a very unhealthy thing. Fashion is for people to wear. I'm happy that so many people in the world like Chanel."
As for other designers' complaints of an over-stuffed fashion calendar, Lagerfeld's not having any of that either. "When you accept the job, you know the conditions," he says. "After a certain amount of time, don’t start to be the victim. If you want that scale you have to be up to that scale. If you think it’s too much, don’t accept. I do it because I enjoy it."
But the thing he is most adamantly against? Writing a memoir. "No memoir. I have nothing to say. What I could say I cannot say. The problem," he explains, "is that things were not always that pleasant. I don't want to give [those people] the pleasure of ever mentioning them again."
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