Karl Lagerfeld: Queer Eye's Tan France Defends Chanel Designer's 'Very Mean' Comments And Legacy

"As far as his work goes, he was incredible."

Queer Eye’s Tan France has defended Karl Largerfeld, amid conversation about how Chanel’s creative director has been remembered in the wake of his death.

Plenty of fashionistas and A-listers rushed to pay tribute when news of Karl’s death broke on Tuesday, but not everyone was quite so quick to praise the designer, with Jameela Jamil labelling him a “fat-phobic misogynist”.

Karl Lagerfeld
Karl Lagerfeld

Appearing on BBC Breakfast, Tan (the Fab Five’s fashion expert) shared a different take on Karl’s legacy and penchant for “very mean” putdowns.

“He was a man of a certain age and I think that he thought he could get away with some of his comments,” he told BBC Breakfast. “Some of those comments were very mean, but as far as his work goes, he was incredible.

“He was iconic and he was one of the most influential people in this industry.

“I will forgive him some of his comments because he was so impactful in what he did, and sometimes I think that people of a certain age get a pass if they’re going to make a comment.

“I don’t think it’s wise, but let’s forgive them or explain why it’s not right and move forward... and I won’t speak ill of the dead.”

Tan France
Tan France
Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP

Over the years, many of the world’s biggest stars were on the receiving end of Lagerfeld’s scathing one-liners, including Adele who he described as “a little too fat”.

He also admitted he didn’t like Pippa Middleton’s face, insisting she “should only show her back”, and said he “wouldn’t want” singer Seal’s skin.

But when news of his death broke, countless stars paid tribute, including Kylie Minogue, Lily Allen and Naomi Campbell.

Cara Delevingne was also among those who posted a message on Instagram, calling Karl a “visionary” and “genius”.

The designer’s death came after weeks of speculation over his health, prompted by his last-minute absence from Chanel’s haute couture shows in January.

He was also creative director for Fendi and his final collection for that brand will be showcased at Milan Fashion Week in the coming days.


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