Karl Lagerfeld’s First Trip to Canada (With Choupette!)

Our editor-in-chief had an audience with the Kaiser! The Chanel designer visited Toronto yesterday—his first time in Canada—to support his collaboration with Art Shoppe Lofts + Condos. Read on for Lagerfeld’s take on living in small spaces, his love for Justin Bieber and the surprising rise to fame of his cat

(Photo: Cameron Williamson Twitter)

(Photo: Cameron Williamson Instagram)

Is it true this is your first time in Canada? We have too much noise! [Several assistants immediately begin shushing the crowd.] Yes, this is why I accepted this job, because I had never been in Canada and I needed a professional reason because I am not a tourist.

Any initial impressions about how Canadians dress? The Canadians I know now—like you, are quite chic. But I don’t ever judge people by what they wear.

Let’s talk about this condo project. Is there any difference in how you would approach designing a condo building lobby versus designing your fashion collections? I did a hotel in Macau, but it’s not really finished yet. I did a hotel in Berlin. You see, for me it’s not completely new. I’ve [designed] enough houses for myself, but I have no time to go to them, so I better do them for someone else.

Do any of the design details in your current residences inform a project like this? For sure, I have a certain style and a mood I want to create. Thank god, or it would be horrible.

Like in most major cities, condos in Toronto are small. What décor essentials would you absolutely need to cram into a small space? You think they are small?

In Toronto our condos are very small; they start at 600 square feet. Like this one [gestures with a gloved hand at the showroom suite we’re sitting in]. For a young man like you it’s quite fine. It depends on the life you have. My dream in life is to have one room with a big desk and a big bed and books around and nothing else. Exactly the opposite of what my life is.


Which room in a person’s house reveals the most about their character? The library.

And what’s your library like? Don’t ask me that. I have 300,000 books and I don’t know how many libraries. I am a bookish person.

I know you are. You have the publishing company 7L as well. Oh you know everything! We make beautiful books. I must admit they are not bad.

You once said the most important piece in a person’s home is the garbage can. Yes, for me, because I throw everything away and keep less than five percent of what I’m doing.

And what’s the second most important piece? A great desk and a good bed. The rest one can do without. And perhaps a nice armchair to read the newspaper because I don’t like to read in bed. Books yes, not newspapers, newspapers are dirty.

You’re the original collaborator; you’ve done everything from Coke cans to, now, condos. If you were to collaborate with Justin Bieber… I love Justin Bieber. I photographed him for V Magazine. I know him very well. My godson who is nearly seven is mad for Justin Bieber. He loves to watch the videos night and day and dance. Last night we had a concert in New York with Pharrell and little Hudson was dancing with Pharrell and Cara Delevingne.

Hudson is [long-time Lagerfeld muse] Brad Kroenig’s son, right? Yes! You know everything.

I do. Over the past year I’ve been to both your couture shows and both your ready-to-wear shows for Chanel. The brasserie was quite funny, no?

It was. In fact, when I first stepped inside the Grand Palais [the setting for Lagerfeld’s recent fall 2015 Chanel show] I thought I was hallucinating because it looked so much like an actual brasserie. That’s what I wanted. There’s lots of French bashing going on, so I wanted to do something nice. If French people do this it’s patriotic, but I’m not French, so when done by a stranger, it’s another thing.

Let’s talk about the one and only Choupette, who covered a special April Fool’s issue of Lucky magazine. I was just asked by American Vogue to do her. I cannot believe the fame of the Choupette. But if you see her you would fall in love with her, too.

Is it true that she’s in Toronto? Yes [barely louder than a whisper], with one of her personal maids. She came to New York with me. I travel with her quite a lot. On a private jet it’s easy.

I read that Choupette made three million euros last year. What’s she going to do with all that money? It’s very simple: she does nothing with her money. The money is put aside so if something were to happen to me—I could be crossing the street and get hit by a car—the person who takes care of her gets that money and then she can have the same kind of lifestyle for the rest of her days.

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