Favorite Quotes of the Vice Magazine Interview with Karl Lagerfeld:
I hate it when photographers are like, “Can we have one with your glasses off?” Why? You can see me just fine.
I had an interview once with some German journalist—some horrible, ugly woman. It was in the early days after the communists—maybe a week after—and she wore a yellow sweater that was kind of see-through. She had huge tits and a huge black bra, and she said to me, “It’s impolite; remove your glasses.” I said, “Do I ask you to remove your bra?”
You are against the idea of gay marriage. I totally agree with you on that.
Yes, I’m against it for a very simple reason: In the 60s they all said we had the right to the difference. And now, suddenly, they want a bourgeois life.
They want to be the type of people who have always despised them.
When I was a child I asked my mother what homosexuality was about and she said—and this was 100 years ago in Germany and she was very open-minded—“It’s like hair color. It’s nothing. Some people are blond and some people have dark hair. It’s not a subject.” This was a very healthy attitude.
This is another thing that we have in common.
And I personally only like high-class escorts. I don’t like sleeping with people I really love. I don’t want to sleep with them because sex cannot last, but affection can last forever. I think this is healthy. And for the way the rich live, this is possible. But the other world, I think they need porn. I also think it’s much more difficult to perform in porn than to fake some emotion on the face as an actor.
It was part of his income.
That’s why I always say, when people talk about not using fur, “Are you rich enough to make an income for the people in the north who live from hunting? What do you want them to live off of when there’s nothing else to do?”
That’s why I’ve always found the anti-fur thing kind of strange. It was part of the way that my family made a living.
It is farmers who are nice to the cows and the pigs and then kill them. It’s even more hypocritical than hunters. At least the hunters don’t flatter the animals. I remember when they killed the pigs when I was a child. I still hear the noise in my ears.
Are you a vegetarian?
Not really. I have to eat meat once a week because my doctor wants me to, but I prefer fish. I don’t like that people butcher animals, but I don’t like them to butcher humans either, which is apparently very popular in the world.
Who are you faxing? Nobody faxes anymore. You’re like the only person with a fax machine.
People I’m really friendly with have faxes. Anna Wintour has one. We speak via fax. And in Paris I send letters to people.
That’s a lost art.
I have somebody to deliver letters all over every day.
You send a note over.
Yes, I send notes.
That’s very Victorian.
Yes, but there’s not one bit bad about the Victorian. Civilized living for me is like this. 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.
What was your relationship with Warhol like? Were you friends?
I don’t think anybody was really friendly with Andy. He was very sweet, very nice. But I was not living that kind of life; I was not taking drugs and all that.
He didn’t really, either.
No, but he pushed others to. I was, in a way, a little too sophisticated for that, and I was more of an outsider inside. I never wanted to have my portrait done by Andy Warhol because I don’t care about portraits. I have enough, from Helmut Newton to Irving Penn. I have them all but I only keep cartoons of myself. I think that’s much more fun. But Andy was very nice and so was Fred Hughes, who died in a horrible way. The drama is that Andy was an OK illustrator who became a great artist. Antonio Lopez, who was a much better craftsmen and master artist, tried to chip into the art world and couldn’t do it.
You didn’t even have a curiosity?
No. There was a famous man who had written about flies and insects, and I’m like the one who watches the insects. I prefer to see how drugs work on others. And I cannot smoke cigarettes. I need my hands for something else. When I was 14 I wanted to smoke because my mother smoked like mad. I wanted to smoke to look grown-up. But my mother said, “You shouldn’t smoke. Your hands are not that beautiful and that shows when you smoke.”
If you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk.
Give your money away and live the life that you are fighting for. That’s the way it should be. I hate rich people when they try to be communists or socialists. I think it’s obscene.