Anna Wintour defends honoring Karl Lagerfeld at 2023 Met Gala, despite controversial remarks

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

NEW YORK — When it comes to this year’s Met Gala, Anna Wintour prefers to focus more on the art than the artist.

The longtime Vogue magazine editor said that despite, Karl Lagerfeld’s controversial commentary, his work deserves to be honored at the annual event she’s presided over since 1995.

The theme for this year’s star-studded fete, which benefits the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, pays tribute to the late German designer, who died in 2019 at 85.

“Karl was provocative, and he was full of paradoxes,” Wintour told Gayle King on CBS Mornings Monday. “And I think sometimes he would say things … to shock, and not necessarily things that he believed in.”

The British fashion doyenne, who apologized for the lack of diversity in what many consider the fashion Bible, made it clear she and chief curator Andrew Bolton do not condone some of Lagerfeld’s past remarks.

“Obviously Karl was a complicated man, and I think Andrew’s decision was really to focus on the work and it’s not a biography. There are documentaries and books that cover all sides of Karl’s life. We are really focusing on his work,” she said.

“I think when we go back and we look at the work that he created over so many years, I think that deserves celebration, it deserves acknowledgement,” Wintour added. “I think there would extraordinary interest in this exhibition.”

Throughout his 65-year career in fashion, Lagerfeld created garments for several luxury design houses, including Chloé, Chanel and Fendi.

He was not only known for his design brilliance and extravagant flair, though. The self-proclaimed “working class dressmaker” courted controversy with views that have been considered fatphobic, racist, and sexist. He famously caught flak for calling vocal powerhouse Adele “too fat” with a “pretty face” and claimed “no one wants to see curvy women.” Lagerfeld, who was plus-sized for years, famously lost 92 pounds in a year and documented his routine in the best-selling 2005 book “The Karl Lagerfeld Diet.”

The designer also caused an uproar in 2010 for putting supermodel Claudia Schiffer in blackface and yellowface for a Dom Perignon champagne ad.

“Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty,” featuring nearly 200 pieces — culled from a vast inventory of over 10,000 — is open to the public May 5 through July 16.