Destination / In Residence

Métier Class by Chanel: in conversation with Karl Lagerfeld

PHOTOGRAPHY from left: Cindy Crawford @cindycrawford; CHANEL @chanelofficial.

Never compare, never compete. The late Karl Lagerfeld possessed that inimitable ability to inspire us to be a bit more bold, and a bit more brazen in our approach to life. In the new chapter of Chanel’s podcast series 3.55, inspired by the presentation of the Metiers d’art collection in New York last December, Tyler Brûlé guides the listener into the inner workings of Lagerfeld’s mind, in what would become one of the designer’s last recorded interviews. 

“I’m not telling myself I want to be mysterious, but I’m telling myself not to be known in details.” An intimate conversation spanning 41 minutes, one comes to feel as if they know just that little bit more about Lagerfeld – the private and mysterious façade of the German-born designer chipped away by Brule’s probing questions to reveal a man of humble beginnings and inspired thoughts. Describing himself as the most “improvised person in the world”, Karl depicts his start in the fashion industry as an accident, citing the Secretariat International de la Laine contest he won in 1954 for the sketch of a simple coat as the genesis for his extraordinary career since. “I don’t do meetings. I sit in my armchair in my studio and we do small talk. And from that small talk comes the collection. No marketing. I only have to deliver ideas and collections.”

Of the many topics discussed in this enlightened interview is the Metier d’Art collection itself. Presented at the MET in New York in December, 2018, Karl sought to propose a fantasy inspired by an old, disappeared culture: “But it has nothing to do with it. [The collection is] the best of today in terms of craftsmanship with inspiration from an unbelievable modernity from almost 4000 years ago. That is all.”

In the wake of his passing, this podcast helps to preserve Lagerfeld’s iconic career for future generations. Listen to the interview below.