Boy, oh boy. Karl Lagerfeld broke a million fashion hearts this week by sharing some pretty shocking views.
Speaking on French TV show Salut les Terriens! (Hello Earthlings!) on Saturday, the 80-year-old German designer criticised German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her decision to take in larger amounts of refugees than other nations at the height of the refugee crisis in Europe in 2015. Even evoking the Holocaust, he said, “One cannot – even if there are decades between them – kill millions of Jews so you can bring millions of their worst enemies in their place.”
The Chanel designer, lauded within the fashion world, has been known to court controversy, though never before on this scale. In the past he’s been criticized for saying those who have plastic surgery to look younger resemble car crash victims; calling the Duchess of Cambridge‘s sister Pippa Middleton ugly; and even having a defamation claim brought against him for his remarks about curvy women (on an episode of another French TV show, he said “no one wants to see curvy women on the runway,” and that overweight people were a burden to the state, having more diseases than non-overweight people. He should probably stay away from French television).
As if all of this wasn’t eyebrow-raising enough, this time he seems to have crossed a line, airing his very questionable political views. He said Merkel’s decision to open German borders to migrants was a “huge error,” adding, “Merkel had already millions and millions (of immigrants) who are well integrated and who work and all is well … she had no need to take another million to improve her image as the wicked stepmother after the Greek crisis.”
Before sharing his views, he did warn he was about to “say something horrific,” suggesting he knew his views are not widely held and would go down badly, to say the least. You’d be forgiven for assuming that the Chanel designer, who is German and would have had parents who remembered the horrors of WWII, would know better or be more sensitive to his nation’s dark history. Seems not. He went on, adding, “I know someone in Germany who took a young Syrian and after four days said: ‘The greatest thing Germany invented was the Holocaust’.” It’s truly hard to know where to begin with this.
Unsurprisingly, several hundred people formally complained about the show, and we’re glad to hear it’s now under examination. Whilst everyone’s entitled to their point of view, it’s pretty hard to stomach someone’s true feelings when they’re just so gross. Now we know what you’re really about, Karl, and unlike your dresses, it ain’t pretty.