LAURA BROWN

LAURA BROWN

THE KAISER AND I

Harper’s Bazaar Executive Editor Laura Brown on gaining an audience with Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld.

Brown poses with designer Karl Lagerfeld, photograph courtesy of Laura Brown

I’ve always admired Karl Lagerfeld, for obvious reasons.

In 2013, I asked him if he would participate in the Harper’s Bazaar video series ‘The Look,’ and he said yes. Karl has shot for the magazine for years, but I couldn’t believe that the first time I was meeting him would be with a video camera in Paris.

I was so excited, but very stressed because people say he’s impenetrable.

Dakota Fanning photographed by Karl Lagerfeld for Harper’s Bazaar Brasil, September 2013

When I arrived at Chanel, Karl entered the room like a bloody whirling dervish.

We went racing off to his bathroom, where he showed me his hair routine — Karl uses Klorane — and was like: It’s chic, no?

He was totally en fuego.

Eventually, we sat down for the interview while the Chanel team hovered all around — I felt like a bull in a china shop.

Lagerfeld photographed at home by François-Marie Banier for The New Yorker, March 19, 2007

I started asking my questions, like: Did you walk into the globe at the Chanel show and hit your chest like, ‘I’m the king of the world?’

Every single one of Karl’s answers was ‘no’ in one way or another, but he gave me everything.

Meeting him was one of the greatest thrills of my life, professionally and in general.

— as told to The Thick

Did you see? Stylist Tara Swennen does Chanel couture with Kristen Stewart, journalist SuChin Pak takes The Thick Questionnaire.

 

Snaps of Brown and Lagerfeld, photographs courtesy of Laura Brown