Carine Roitfeld Talks CR Fashion Book, Porno-Chic, And Peeing Behind Cars

Carine Roitfeld is a fashion superstar. And while she may be one of the more revered editors in the business, she is surprisingly down-to-earth.

In a recent profile in the Telegraph, which naturally deems her the ‘world’s chicest grandmother’ (her daughter, Julia, gave birth to baby girl in May), she opened up about leaving French Vogue, her controversial editorials, and — surprise! — peeing in parking lots. This is what she had to say about people calling her style ‘porno-chic':

“A lot of people say I am the queen of porno-chic. ‘Chic’ is good, but ‘porno’ is not. I am very happy you use the word ‘erotic’ and not ‘pornographic’. I never treat a woman as an object, and even when we use bondage [Karen Elson, for example, was pictured in the magazine in 2007 tied up with a curtain cord], I don’t think the woman seems to suffer; she is never just an object. She is tough, my woman. I always think model and woman is more important than the clothes. Most of the time when I do shoots I think the girl is an actress more than a model.”

She also talked about her relationship with Karl Lagerfeld, with whom she wrote a book on Chanel‘s iconic little black jacket:

“Lagerfeld always calls me Mme Roitfeld, never Carine. It’s funny, he’s like a rock star now. You go on the street with him, it’s like being with J-Lo.”

On outgrowing French Vogue and wanting to branch out:

“Now it’s all about money, results and big business. Ten years is a long time — and especially 10 years in a gilded cage. They were wonderful years, but sooner or later birds want their freedom again. It’s true, you are not free to do the project like we are doing today [with Mac]. You are not free to work with Karl Lagerfeld and the advertising. You are not free to help a designer. So now I can open all the perspective in front of me. I change job so I have a lot of possibility.”

Carine had some things to say about how the business has changed as well, and what will make her highly-anticipated new glossy, CR Fashion Book, different from other magazines and from her previous work:

“When I started 30 years ago at French Elle, we never do the shoot thinking if Jean Paul Gaultier was advertising or not. We were totally free. But now I understand it is a business and you have to pay attention to the people who put money in your magazine. But there has to be a limit or otherwise you are not a journalist anymore. But this magazine is going to be totally different than what I was doing before, with a new dream team.”

Roitfeld’s 10 years at French Vogue were characterized by irreverent editorials that sparked controversy and often earned her criticism. One such editorial featured a model peeing in a parking lot, which was apparently inspired by true events:

“When I was going in nightclubs there were cameras in the toilets looking to see if you were taking drugs, so I said, ‘OK, I will never go to pee in the toilet in a nightclub’. I will always prefer to go to pee behind a car. We took a picture like this. It was reality for me. It is important to have a sense of humour and always with a certain chic. Even if the girl is peeing behind a car, she is doing it with a chic attitude.”

We don’t know about you, but when we pee in parking lots, it is always with a chic attitude.


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