Karl Lagerfeld on anorexia in the fashion industry: ‘Nobody works with anorexic girls’

It’s time for another episode of “Karl Lagerfeld says the darndest things!” That should really be a weekly show. Like, you just put Karl in a studio and put the camera on him and just shout out names and he riffs on what he thinks of those people. Anyway, these are pics of Karl at last night’s London event for “Chanel: The Little Black Jacket”. While at the event, Karl had a lot to say about some celebrities, and he had some thoughts on the fashion industry’s reputation for eating disorders. Klassic Karl. Some highlights:

Karl would love to dress Duchess Kate in Chanel: “She’s beautiful… the state of the economy in Europe, not especially in England, I think she’s perfect for that… she cannot come like a red Carpet girl, but for times being, she’s perfect.”

On prime minister David Cameron’s wife Samantha: “In France, the image of Mrs Cameron is unknown.”

Whether the fashion industry promoted eating disorders: “I’m sorry to say that it’s a subject I consider ridiculous for several reasons; the story with the anorexic girls – nobody works with anorexic girls, that’s nothing to do with fashion. People who have that [anorexia] have problems to do with family and things like that. There are less than 1 per cent of anorexic girls, but there more than 30 per cent of girls in France, – I don’t know about England – that are much, much overweight. And it is much more dangerous and very bad for the health. So I think today with the junk food in front of the TV it’s something dangerous for the health of the girl. The models are skinny, but not that skinny.”

[From The Telegraph, ITV]

Apparently, Karl also claimed that Brad Pitt was a good choice to represent Chanel No. 5, even though he’s not in charge of the Chanel perfume lines. But he cosigns the choice of Pitt!

I’m also including a video of an interview Karl did before the event, where a lot of these quotes come from – he says “it’s not okay” for women to be fat right now, but it will be okay in the future. Trying to wrap my head around his logic is giving me a headache. He’s such a bitch! I love him. NO APOLOGIES, Karl.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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83 Responses to “Karl Lagerfeld on anorexia in the fashion industry: ‘Nobody works with anorexic girls’”

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  1. Eleonor says:

    Ok where’s Choupette? Was she in London too?? Sorry Karl.

  2. Amanda says:

    Hhahaahahahahaha I want him to be my best friend

  3. Saphana says:

    Karl said so many mean things i cant be offended by him anymore.

    Just saw a video of him on a german tv show. he refused to dance with a chubby female comedian and rather wanted to dance with a WAG.

  4. Riana says:

    Eh, I don’t find him that adorable or funny. I think he’s just an accurate symbol of what the high fashion world in general feels.

    “Being fat isn’t OKAY. Not that we don’t like you or anything ladies but its not OKAY. Anorexic? We NEVER work with anorexic models. What…that 17 yr old is 20lbs underweight and her ribs are showing…well she’s a growing girl”

    Come on now…there’s a system in place Karl…and anyone with two eyes can see there’s been more than a few cases of anorexic models on the runway.

    • Bluedog says:


    • Minty says:

      WTF with this bullsh-t! Karl is talking out of his ass AGAIN. Malnourished and skeletal models are in fashion precisely because they are hired by the designers.

      Sickly models are a common feature at shows:

      Designers, like Karl, call the shots. They are the ones in control here. They dictate the sample size models must fit into. Some models are naturally skinny. But many more starve themselves and/or overexercise to conform to the industry’s strict demands. Some develop eating disorders from all the pressure. Many successful models (generations of them, actually) have admitted to doing such things in order to get work. Karl is an influential power player in fashion. He’s a major part of the problem.

    • alons-y alonso says:

      He can’t be working with anorexic girls. All of his models look like anorexic boys….

  5. Willynilly says:

    They just work with bulimics, duh!

    (I mean no disrespect for those of you who have struggled through an ED. His comments are preposterous.)

  6. Micki says:

    Ok I believe there are girls that eat like horses and don’t gain.My best friend is so and I’m not going to bitch about others just because they are slimmer than me.
    I do actually think there are lots of girls on these shows that starve themselves to maintain figure though.
    And I’m sorry to agree with him but his percentages anorexic/obese seem correct.

    • Kimlee says:

      I agree with everything you said.

    • Melissa says:

      I do too, but let’s face it – the fat girls are not being shot down the runway and put in fashion mags telling women “this is what you should look like! this looks good, and this is what men want and is sexy!”, and the extremely thin girls are being sold to us that way.

      • Micki says:

        Fat girls had their field day. Remember Rembrandt?
        I think till mid 90′s the models were pretty normal, all the colden generation.
        And then came Kate Moss and changed the game.It’s been now 10-15 years of androgynous beauties and at some point we’ll “return back to our roots” or some other silly slogan and will have the old shape fashionable again. I mean there is not much choice isn’t there?

      • Loira says:

        No Kte Moss, but Twiggy. Magazines do not lie, models were thin in the 80s, not bone thin, but not “fat”, those were with Reubens centuries ago. Even in silent movies the pretty ones are quite slim.

      • Micki says:

        @Loira: I was thinking generally about Saskia, who is “normal” on a large scale.But Roubens-that’s even better I admit, favoured the obese ones.
        In the silent films (20-30)the girls were thin again but then the no-hip, no breast fashion was for real.And afterwards women were fuller again.
        Best examle:Marylin, who was size 42!-unthinkable for and actress today.

    • Stig says:

      My daughter, 18, 175cms, size 0-2. Starts her day with 2 bacon sandwiches. She eats every 2 hours! A lot but doesn’t care for sweets and junk food. Some are really built this way

      • KC says:

        I had a friend like that in High School–although she loved sweets and greatly enjoyed the three chocolate truffles she had with lunch every day because the doctor told her she needed to put on weight. And one of my best friends is a size 2 and is CONSTANTLY eating and gets worried that I’m not feeling well if I’m not eating as much as she is.

      • tmbg says:

        That was me up until my 20s or so. I didn’t like being a beanpole because I was ridiculed. People will laugh if you’re fat, if you’re medium-sized, muscular or thin. It doesn’t matter. Getting called chicken legs and other names really bothered me.

        So I do believe some of these young models naturally have fast metabolisms.

    • KC says:

      One percent anorexic is at the low end of the number of predicted cases (three is the high end, so not that far off). He’s also leaving out the five percent of young French women who are bulimic and the eleven percent who have compulsive eating disorders.

  7. Cherry says:

    Some of the stuff he says doesn’t even make sense. Like that quote about duchess Kate- what does that mean? She’s perfect for the state of the economy in Europe? ‘she cannot come like a red Carpet girl’?
    Is it a bad translation, or is his English not that good?

    • dcypher1 says:

      I was thknking the samething

    • Micki says:

      He probably means that she’s a budget celebrity amidst a continent torn by a financial crisis and doesn’t have a glam factor.

      • Amelia says:

        I’m trying to work out whether that’s a subtle dig or not.
        Bleh. Karl logic.

      • Micki says:

        You mean he CAN be subtle? Hm, I admit that’s new to me.
        I think he’s so old and has success and has seen so much that he doesn’t much care how he’ll be taken.Sort of Joan Collins with more hairy balls.

      • Amelia says:

        Ah, dropped my toast at the hairy balls!

      • Micki says:

        I have a bitch crush on Joan Collins.I pride myself in having the same Zodiac sign like her and in a field day I can be exceptionally bitchy too.I dream about outbitching my future daughters-in-law so they never bother me with baby-sitting my precious grandchildren and I use my free time going somewhere south and cougaring around in hot red bukini in my 70′s…how’s your toast now?

  8. littlemissnaughty says:

    I would love to blame this on his erratic way of talking and maybe the language issue, what with him being German and all … but nope. He talks like that in German as well. Just as confusing/confused and completely out of touch with reality. The man grew up privileged and lives in a bubble. And this is the result.
    He’s a genius in his field but really, we should not look to him to have the world (or fashion world) explained to us. When you don’t take him seriously though, goddamn, that man is entertaining.

    • UNF Joan Jett! says:

      But it´s funny when he explains the world. You just can´t (and should not!) take him seriously.

  9. Ming says:

    Karl probably looks down on fat women, not because they are heavy, but because he views them as undisciplined.

    Beth Ditto is fat, but he likes her, because she has…proven herself and of course that woman has ‘tude !

    • mystified says:

      It’s funny how everybody is disciplined and undisciplined about different things. I’m very disciplined about excercise and eating right but have way too little discipline with money and house cleaning. I know many obese people who can really stretch a dollar or keep an immaculate house.

      I’m sure Lagerfeld loves women who are disciplined about their weight but undisciplined about money.

    • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

      Yeah didnt he hate on Adele for being overweight pretty recently?? Ugh this man…

  10. shewolf says:

    Bahahahahahahahahahaha!!! He basically called Kate “budget.” He covered it all up in what looked like compliments but he totally called her the budget princess!!

    And he has a point about how there is such a severe reaction to women being anorexic but little is said about the state of health of women who are considerably overweight. Its just the opposite side of the coin but just as guilty. Undereating or overeating, it has nothing to do with fashion and he’s right.

    • Lisa says:

      Fat women get a lot of shit for the way they look. Only because it’s so common to be the size of a house now, it’s more defended. People think it’s normal to scarf junk food and get fat when it isn’t.

    • UNF Joan Jett! says:

      Like what? Like the discrimination of overweight people that is going on within the health industry? Yup, totally non existant.

    • Suz says:

      Little is said about the health effects of obesity? People think it’s normal?

      Good god, you must live in a different universe than I do. There is more written about obesity and proposals on how to fix it than you can shake a stick at.

  11. Green is Good says:

    Whoa! Karl’s Kunt-face is out in full bitch force!

  12. bowers says:

    For Christ’s sake, look at this guy. Who cares what he says.

  13. Lisa says:

    He has a point: Largely (no pun intended), anorexia has nothing to do with fashion. But he’s putting some willful blinders on here. Models with eating disorders have them because the industry demands them to look a certain way. Some might have them before they get into modeling, but the ones who develop one, do it to get work.

  14. Kate says:

    Dying from anorexia is so rare. Millions of people die every year from diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc. It’s the cold hard truth, and count on cunty Karl to point it out.

    • Lisa says:

      eh, I don’t know why people bring up stats like it’s a competition. I’m not denying it or supporting being fat, but to quantify it like that is kind of a dick move. “She ONLY died of anorexia. Pfft, three hundred people died at McDonalds today from a stroke.”

    • Sam says:

      Um, nobody dies of anorexia, technically. (I used to work in a clinic that dealt with ED sufferers, so I know this). You die of complications (generally heart-related) that came about as a result of the eating disorder. Karen Carpenter’s death certificate doesn’t say that she died of anorexia, it lists a form of a heart attack brought on by anorexia (its also worth noting that Karen Carpenter died as a result of a badly managed recovery, not starvation).

      Disordered eating kills far more people than you’d be comfortable knowing. Just sayin.’

      • Kim says:

        There are proximate causes of death and ultimate ones. While you are correct in a concrete and literal way, (mortality in anorexia is usually due to cardiac causes) the ultimate cause of death is clearly the eating disorder. With a fatality rate (variable in studies) of about 10%, anorexia and eating disorders in general are the most fatal of all pscyhiatric illnesses. I don’t know if you are trying to be clever or just look smarter than people, but it doesn’t really advance the dialogue and could be seen as trivializing.

      • Sam says:

        Uh, Kim – I was responding to Kate, who was arguing that anorexia is rarely fatal. I was pointing out that the true number of deaths from anorexia is far higher.

        Perhaps you need to work on your reading comprehension? There is a way of telling who is replying to whom. Does that make me look too smart?

  15. gg says:

    What is going on with his weird little pants?

    Oh – and I figured out why he is never seen without his stupid driving gloves – his monstrous sized head vs. his teeny tiny little hands.

    He is a Goofus Gollum.

  16. EmmaStoneWannabe says:

    He has such a presence in the fashion world, he needs to realize how responsible he is held for the words he says. For ex. saying it’s not OK to be fat right now, but down the road…wtf?? How careless and arrogant. What, is he the fat police?

  17. ladybert62 says:

    He is a creep and a stupid one.

  18. I'm going to Guam! says:

    Karl used to be fat as a kid and teenager so maybe that’s where the hate or dislike for fat people comes from?

  19. BW says:

    The white powder on his hair is overlapping the makeup on his forehead. I thought he was more careful about his looks than that.

  20. MonicaQ says:

    Oh this guy. Whenever I listen to his interviews in German, I just smile and shake my head. He’s such…an unpleasant man yet puts a lace of “Hah, well, I’m *so* awesome” over it. He speaks very “harsh” German as my friend puts it and I wince a bit when I hear it. Something beyond his control I guess, like Gilbert Godfrey.

    The average size of women has gone up over the years. Food’s better (or worse, depending on your take), there’s more of it, there are more sources of entertainment that require not moving, and so on. I say this as a relatively heavy woman (size 18) that plays a contact sport with men (American Football) and has to put on a lot of muscle. I think you should just do you, whatever “doin’ you” is, skinny, fat, somewhere in between, whatever.

    The only thing I’d like from the fashion industry is *something* for people that are a bit larger. Not design a whole line just *something* that isn’t covered in flowers and a mu-mu. I just wear jeans and a t-shirt half the time because LOL GOOD LUCK TRYING TO FIND A SHIRT THAT FITS A 38 F BUST. Guh.

  21. Sam says:

    I used to read alot about the model diaries that used to be posted during fashion week. It seems like very few of them are anorexic in the clinical sense – like long-term starvation. However, they basically all admitted to doing some very unsafe stuff in the weeks and days leading up to fashion week – starvation, laxatives, exercise overload. It’s also worth noting that anorexia technically isn’t the actions of starving yourself. It’s a mental disorder that causes severe cognitive impairement and distortions.

    So in short, its probably true that there are not that many “true” anorexics in the industry. But there are plenty of models who are doing some serious fucked up shit with food. That’s what the industry needs to take responsibility for.

  22. Kim says:

    Ah, denial. I love his quoting of medical statistics and his prescient and well informed commentary on the origin of eating disorders. This whole quote is really him just talking about his OWN issues with food and weight. Didn’t he starve himself into that physique. STFU, Karl!

  23. carrie says:

    he lives in a world where every woman and girl are 0 size! now Karl come on in the real world

    many models are only teens

  24. aenflex says:

    Nevermind what he says. LOOK at him. Thousands take fashion direction from this man. He LOOKS frightening. Hunger Games, anyone?

  25. nancypants says:

    I’m totally WRONG and I’ll own it but I’d like to see him on, “Fashion Police”, with Joan Rivers.

    Can you imagine??

    It would be the bitch fight to end all.

    It would be a wig pullin’, ‘nail scratchin’, jewelry slingin’ BLOODBATH if there was any blood left in either of them.

    I swear! You could sell tickets and, honestly, I’m not sure who I’d bet on but I really like his cat.

  26. Beta says:

    I still haven’t made up my mind about if I love him or hate him, but I LOVE the fact that he doesn’t give a f*!
    No apologies Karl!
    his late work with chanel blows though

  27. Grace says:

    Granny Karla is just jealous that her cat Choupette is loved more than anything she’s ever created and can eat anything she wants :)

  28. Isabelle says:

    I find it interesting how it’s okay to call someone too skinny or saying that “she should eat a sandwich” but when Karl Lagerfeldt or someone else call a person too fat, people became so angry. It can be just as insulting to hear both of these comments about your weight.
    I’m sorry if my english is hard to read. I’m from Sweden and english is my second language.

    • Janet says:

      No need to apologize. Your English is perfect.

    • Seagulls says:

      I don’t think anyone has made those comments on this particular page. I think it’s pretty well acknowledged (except by Karl!) that runway models aren’t thin naturally so much as they’re immature, starved, or drug-dependent.

  29. dooliloo says:

    The fat in his body back when he was overweight, did the surgeons put it in his brain and blocked his cells, only to leave the bitch frontal opened?

  30. Lurkeelee says:

    Did I hear right that Kunty Karl said that 30% of the French women are obese? I just googled and it’s more like 11%. What is his idea of obese I wonder, a size 10? I did love the comment on Waity about her being budget and not a red carpet type. It’s true, funny and why I luv him. It’s like some posters said upthread, though, just don’t take him seriously. :)

  31. tmbg says:

    Somehow his opinions never offend me. He’s so out there that you just can’t take him seriously. I think he’s a very talented man, but his head isn’t screwed on straight.

    Good ol’ crazy Uncle Karl.

  32. Honut Sinti says:

    Do keep in mind that Ms. Karl was a little butterball in his own early days and went on to the opposite extreme.

    No matter the chatter, it’s all publicity patter.

  33. LittleDeadGirl says:

    I don’t understand why he get’s such a pass on this website? If anyone else had said half the shit he does they’d be crusified but Karl says it and everyone just look at him like it’s cute. Half the shit out of his mouth is either cruel, stupid, or more often than not both. You can like his clothes by why excuse his behavior? He has more compassion for his f’ing cat than he does for the thousands of models and millions of girls the fashion world destroys.

  34. Julianthe says:

    Karl, you must stop speaking in “absolutes.” You make yourself look and sound incredibly ignorant and stupid.

  35. Va says:

    I think I am going to dress up as him for Halloween.

  36. Trashaddict says:

    Please stop posting pictures of this walking tactless corpse. Fashion used to be about grace and style.
    The models looks like corpses too, why do they hardly ever smile on the runway? A good outfit should make you smile, it should make you confident and happy.

  37. Boobookitty says:

    An old school chum of mine had quite a few interviews when we were in sixth form for a few large agencies- she’s a good 5’11 and a UK size 8. Every one of them told her to lose a few pounds.

  38. molly says: