Lagerfeld landed his first job in the fashion industry in 1955 as an assistant to French designer Pierre Balmain. He spent the next two decades freelancing for a number of the world’s top fashion houses, including Krizia, Valentino, Chloe, Repetto, Curiel and Fendi before taking over at Chanel in 1983, 12 years after founder Coco Chanel’s death. He is credited with transforming the house into one of the world’s most profitable luxury brands
But Lagerfeld was not just famous for the clothing, jewelry and perfume he designed; he will also be remembered for his candid — and sometimes controversial — comments on fashion and style as well as his career and lifestyle, including, of course, that Karl Lagerfeld sweatpants quote.
Here are some of Karl Lagerfeld’s most memorable quotes.
“I don’t do selfies. But other people do, and they all want to do selfies with me. No, no, no. Thank God, Sébastien, my assistant, he’s mean to the people in the street, mean and rude. I’m a nice person.” —New York Times, 2015.
“The iPod is genius. I have 300.” — 2006
On fashion shows:
“I’m a kind of fashion nymphomaniac who never gets an orgasm.” — 1984
On his designs:
“Improvise. Become more creative. Not because you have to, but because you want to. Evolution is the secret for the next step.” — Harper’s Bazaar, 2009
On weight loss:
“I lost 200lb to wear suits by Hedi Slimane.” — 2004
“Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life, so you bought some sweatpants.” — The World According to Karl, 2013.
On spending money:
“If you throw money out of the window throw it out with joy. Don’t say: ‘one shouldn’t do that’ – that is bourgeois.” — 2007
On his legacy:
“I’ve always known that I was made to live this way, that I would be this sort of legend.” — The World According to Karl, 2013.
On his diet:
“I only like what I’m allowed to like. I’m beyond temptation. There is no weakness. When I see tons of food in the studio, for us and for everybody, for me it’s as if this stuff was made out of plastic. The idea doesn’t even enter my mind that a human being could put that into their mouth. I’m like the animals in the forest. They don’t touch what they cannot eat.” — The Independent, 2011
“What I’ve done, Coco Chanel would never have done. She would have hated it.” — The World According to Karl, 2013.
“Black, like white, is the best color. They both look great with added color touches like red.” — Harper’s Bazaar, 2009.
On wedding dresses:
“Normally, I don’t recommend me for wedding dresses — they all get a divorce.” — 2012.
On men in fashion:
On his persona:
“I am like a caricature of myself, and I like that.” — The World According to Karl, 2013.