A one-on-one with Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld’s line for Macy’s is available now.

Within the perfume-scented confines of America’s most mass-market department store, shoppers are aglow after the rarest of fashion sightings. Karl Lagerfeld, the iconic creative director of Chanel, just made an appearance —  inside of Macy’s. “He just doesn’t do personal appearances at department stores. I was the CEO of Neiman Marcus for six years and Karl was the hardest designer to attract. So for us, [this] is very big,” says Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s CEO.

Lagerfeld came to town to launch his new, affordable ready-to-wear collaboration with the chain, and was all good humor when we sat down in an executive suite on the 13th floor.

It’s been quite a few years since your H&M collection. What inspired you to do this new affordable line?

I like to do the opposite of what people expect — and do it well. Because in our times, the inexpensive, in a way, is more important in fashion than the very, very expensive. So the people who can buy the expensive can buy the inexpensive, too. The people who can buy the inexpensive — because I never say cheap — maybe they cannot buy the expensive, but they can buy a lipstick or nail polish from Chanel. I approach this more or less the same way that I approached H&M because, you know, I was the first one to do H&M. So I do it from instinct because I know life in a way — what people want to wear, what they have, what they don’t have. But I’m not a marketing person. So I don’t ask myself too many questions. I listen to the instinct.

You balance so many projects, and yet younger designers have buckled under the stress of having more than one job.

The young designers should forget about the word “young” because if you’re only interesting because you are young, that may be a problem. Nobody has my past and my present. So people who are in my situation may think it’s not right for them. But for me, I think it’s right.

You were recently quoted as saying that sweatpants are a sign of defeat. So what do you wear in your downtime?

Downtime? I don’t have downtime. Downtime has a very aging affect. I know Uptown and Downtown, but downtime? [Laughs] I believe in discipline. You get up, and you make an effort. But if you are down, you only remain down. Kick your ass yourself. You have to be very disciplined. You know, people can start to like to be down after a certain point. It’s very bad.

What are your thoughts on the reports that Marc Jacobs may go to Christian Dior?

Life is about change. Some people don’t like things to change. I like things to change. I like Marc Jacobs at Dior. I like the idea. … Marc has this little twist needed today in fashion.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 11,…

Caleb's not a ghost. Spencer might still be an attempted murderer. And Hanna's going to die next week. In other words, we actually got some…

Movies

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Television

Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.

Television

5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Parenting

How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.

Tech

How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…

Tech

OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.