Karl Lagerfeld recently did an interview with England’s Channel 4 News about the Little Black Jacket exhibit, in which he proclaims the iconic piece a wardrobe staple, and then gets grilled about the fashion industry’s role in contributing to eating disorders like anorexia.
After an obligatory question about the exhibit, the interviewer asks Lagerfeld if it’s okay for women to be fat in the future (“I’m afraid, yes.”), and if it’s okay for ladies to be skinny now (“No”.). Erm, pourquoi pas?
When asked if he feels a responsibility to make clothes for healthier models, Lagerfeld explains:
“I’m sorry to say it’s a subject that I consider on the bar of ridiculous, for several reasons. The story with anorexic girls -– nobody works with anorexic girls. That has nothing to do with fashion. People who have that, they have problem with family and things like this. There are less than one percent of anorexic girls, but there are over — in France, I don’t know about England — over 30 percent of girls who are big, big, overweight. And that is much more dangerous and very bad for the health. So, I think today, with the junk food in front of the TV and things like that is something dangerous for the health or to girls. The models are skinny but they’re not that skinny. All the new girls are not that skinny. You know, there’s a new evolution.”
While we chalk up most of what Lagerfeld says to, well, Lagerfeld, we partially disagree with him on this. It’s certainly true that the underlying reason for many eating disorders is much deeper than fashion, but the industry still plays a huge role on body image — the size of runway models is far from that of an average woman, magazine covers and editorials perpetuate a skinny silhouette, and Balenciaga‘s Nicolas Ghesquière has even admitted that the industry has a problem with big sizes. The CFDA and the rest of the fashion industry has been trying to regulate itself with new guidelines for models, but obviously, no one is really paying any attention.
Catch the whole interview with Lagerfeld below: