We already knew that the breadth and depth of Karl Lagerfeld‘s work in the fashion industry was pretty wide and pretty deep. But Elle‘s fashion blog discovered today that when the Kaiser isn’t designing for Chanel and Fendi, shooting short films for Hogan or designing small islands, he’s doing a lot of random work that he doesn’t get credit for.
Take this ad for Levi’s, for example. A source told Elle that it’s just one of a pile of examples of Lagerfeld doing work for another brand and not taking credit for it:
“If you go into his studio in Paris, all the covers he’s shot are pinned to the wall – and you wouldn’t believe how many there are: Numero and dozens of others” our source told us, “but the truth is, they’re not good photos: no sense of composition, poor lighting. Thank god he has a gigantic team assisting him.” The source added that “he is a designer, not a trained photographer. He takes his pictures in three or four minutes, whereby a photographer might take between half an hour to an hour and a half.”
We can’t imagine that Lagerfeld is ashamed of his work — despite what the anonymous source says about the lack of composition, his ads have always looked pretty stellar to us.
Accordingly, we can’t imagine that Levi’s — or Numero, or Playboy or any of the other brands he’s done clandestine work for — would be afraid to acknowledge him as a collaborator. In fact, you would think that most people would have to beg to even get a meeting with Lagerfeld, who we thought had no time for meetings because he’s, well, always doing something.
It’s tough trying to get inside the head of someone you’ve only observed from afar, but we have a few theories. Perhaps he’s just addicted to the idea of doing work and is fulfilled with the recognition he gets from his big projects. Perhaps he thinks that doing an ad for a lower-tier ad damages the value of the work he does elsewhere, and so he asks Levi’s and its ilk to keep things on the hush (although his masstige theory makes that seem less likely). Perhaps he’s a crazy old workaholic who simply can’t turn off the limitless fountain of creativity that lives in his brain and gets a rush from seeing his work go beyond his high fashion emipre.
We don’t know if his working schedule is all that healthy, but we do know that he’s singularly devoted to bringing more beauty into the world. (Did you see his spring collection?) So long as Lagerfeld wants to spread his creativity around, we don’t have any problems with how he chooses to do it.