Controversy Erupts: Uncovering Why Karl Lagerfeld’s Met Gala Theme is So Controversial

by Sophia Chen
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Karl Lagerfeld changed the way Chanel looks. He made hip-hop culture and high fashion work together which hadn’t been done before. He also became friends with a lot of famous people and used his runway shows to make amazing performances.

He liked to speak his opinion without any shame. He had bad thoughts about gay people who wanted to adopt kids, migrants, people who were hurt by sexual assault, the #MeToo movement, and those he called “ugly”. All of this was recorded and later exposed for others to read.

In 2019, the famous fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld passed away. This May 1st, his work and legacy will be shown off at a big fundraising event as well as an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. However, people won’t be able to see some of his more controversial beliefs.

Vanessa Friedman, a New York Times fashion critic once said that fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld was very good at making people mad. He didn’t care that he would be judged for it. On the contrary, he embraced it like a masterpiece of his perfectly cut dress.

Karl Lagerfeld’s role at the biggest fashion night has faced criticism, but Anna Wintour, who is a close friend and organizer of the event, isn’t one of them. Anna hasn’t given any comments about it.

When nearly 400 celebrities, businessmen and other famous people go up the stairs at Metropolitan Museum for the fashion gala Jameela Jamil won’t be there.

The actor and activist didn’t agree with the theme and spoke out against it on Instagram. He praised the fashion genius but said his words were often mean toward women.

Jamil wrote and asked, “Why are we celebrating this person when so many other people who aren’t prejudiced against others should be celebrated instead? Where are all the principles and advocacy that people usually stand for – especially when it comes to justice? You can’t stand for justice if you’re going to celebrate someone who made fun of different kinds of people.”

In 2020, a group of online friends decided to open up the A-list, exclusive gala event to everyone by creating a ‘Twitter Met Gala’ where people had to submit their fashion ideas based on the annual theme. But don’t look for this on Twitter this year!

The team responsible for the annual Monday in May Twitter Met Gala said that they would not be having a gala this year because their values do not agree with Karl Lagerfeld being the theme. Karl was called the ‘living soul of fashion’ by Wintour, and he had an amazing talent. However, his views on some things have caused conflict with the #MeToo Movement.

The famous fashion designer, Lagerfeld said in an interview with Numéro in 2018 that he was “sick and tired” of all the discussions about sexual harassment, bad behavior, wrong-doing and rape.

I’m very shocked because some actresses took twenty years to remember what happened. Plus, there is no one that can prove it in court. I highly dislike Mr. Weinstein and had a problem with him during the Cannes Film Festival event to raise awareness for AIDS.

A person who works in fashion modelling should be aware of things that could potentially happen to them. If they don’t want their clothes pulled around, it’s better for them to stay away from being a model and join a temple instead. It was reported that people have made accusations against a particular stylist/ creative director called Karl Templer. In an interview with German news magazine Focus in 2009, the speaker said no one wants to see plus-size women.

In 2010, when asked if he loves both very skinny and curvy models in fashion, Karl Lagerfeld said yes. He also co-wrote a diet book to help people lose weight after he managed to lose 92 pounds himself in only 13 months. During his career, Karl often criticized women who weren’t size 0 or 2 and defended designers who hired only thin runway models.

In 2009, Karl Lagerfeld was asked about German women’s magazine Brigitte deciding that they would only show photos of “real” women instead of professional models. He said something like this: “Some moms who sit in front of the TV and eat chips think that thin models are not attractive. But actually, dreamy and imaginary clothes need very skinny people to model them in order for them to look their best.”

According to a book “The World According to Karl” which collected Lagerfeld’s own words, he once said: “Fashion is the best way for both men and women to become thinner”.

In an interview with Vice in 2010, Lagerfeld had some opinions about Andy Warhol. He said that Warhol was “not attractive” and also called a German journalist interviewing him an “ugly woman”.


In 2017, Karl Lagerfeld (a person born in Hamburg) expressed his disagreement with Chancellor Merkel for allowing Syrian refugees to enter Germany during the refugee crisis. He said on a French talk show that it was wrong for millions of Jews to be killed and then replaced with their ‘enemies’.

Someone in Germany took in a young Syrian person who could barely speak English. After just four days, this refugee said something shocking to the German lady – he claimed that Germany’s greatest invention was the Holocaust!

This comment made hundreds of people complain to a TV station called Canal 8.


At a runway show for his spring 2013 Chanel haute couture collection in Paris, fashion designer Lagerfeld had two brides wearing identical wedding dresses to show support for France’s same-sex marriage law. However, back in 2010 he said that he disagreed with two men getting married.

In the 60s, people wanted freedom to express their differences. But now, they’re suddenly mostly convinced that having one parent work and another at home with a baby is a kind of good life. Lagerfeld doesn’t know if this would be a good idea for the baby. He believes that more lesbian couples have babies than male couples and thinks that mother-child relationships are stronger than father-child ones.

In 2013, while accepting same-sex marriage, Lagerfeld said he was not too excited about same-sex couples being able to adopt children.

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