Karl Lagerfeld: Coco Chanel Would Have "Hated" What I'm Doing

October 14, 2011 By:
Karl Lagerfeld thinks Coco Chanel would hate what he's done with the company.

How to run a company according to Lagerfeld means, saying "screw you" to the person that gave you your job.

"I have it in my blood," says the flamboyant designer, "When I was asked to Chanel, it was not trendy at all. I made something of it because I was given total freedom by the owner. What I do Coco would have hated. It's my job to keep Chanel updated."

When Lagerfeld took over Chanel, the owner said, "I'm not proud of the business. If you can make something, OK. If not, I'll sell it. What I did, [Coco Chanel] never did....The label has an image, it's up to me to update it."

Lagerfeld is the creative director of both Fendi and Chanel and says he's made Chanel popular and trendy because he was given total creative freedom. Basically, he's saying the company was boring before he got there. Don't expect Lagerfeld to ever apologize for being fabulous.

Lagerfeld has also designed Coca Cola bottles, directed Magnum ice cream commercials and most recently designed a collection for Macy's.

"I'm a walking label no?" he jokes with CNN, "My name is labelfeld not Lagerfeld."

He's so ridiculously cocky and like 100 years old, I love it.

He says he finds his celebrity status strange, "It's a strange thing. I think it's flattering. I don't sing. I'm not an actor. I have no scandals," he reveals.

Though he says that the reason for his fashion success is that he forgets all his past work, so it's like he's always creating from nothing.

"I have a sort of Alzheimer's for my own work, which I think is a very good thing. Today too many people remember what they did - just forget it all and start again."

While he has been creating brilliant work since he came to Chanel in 1983 he says most of his design efforts end up in the trash. He says when he tries too hard his work sucks, but when he lets the ideas come to him, it's genius.

"When I make big efforts, it's for the garbage can. When I make no effort it's a lot better but you cant count on it. You work a lot for the garbage can."

Overall, Lagerfeld thinks his contributions have been a "good thing."

"Its a good thing for [Chanel], it's a good thing for me and it's not such a bad thing for fashion."