This year’s theme for the annual fashion extravaganza hosted by Vogue at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” – in honour of the late fashion designer and former creative director of the house of Chanel.
When asked about the controversy surrounding Lagerfeld, who was known to make divisive comments about issues including same-sex marriage, the MeToo movement, and fatphobia, Wintour acknowleged he’s a “snob” but his influence on fashion, undeniable.
“In a world where so much changes, the fact [that] Karl stayed at these two iconic houses [Chanel and Fendi] for half a century and more is unique,” the 73-year-old said.
‘It shows how adored he was, how respected, how creative. You don’t stay in those very high-profile positions with such an incredible degree of success. That shows you his passion,” she added. “He would love to take on a new challenge and do different things.”
The announcement for the theme of this year’s gala triggered the re-emergence of Lagerfeld’s most controversial comments over the years.
The Good Place actor Jameela Jamil was among those who criticised the magazine’s decision on social media.
In an Instagram post at the time, Jamil highlighted the many instances when Lagerfeld – who died in 2019 – spoke “in such a distinctly hateful way”, adding that this was directed “mostly towards women”.
Elsewhere in the interview, Wintour reacted to earlier rumours that seasoned attendee Kim Kardashian had not been invited to the ball.
“Don’t believe everything you read in the press,” she said.
It has since been confirmed Kardashian will be present at the gala this year.