L’Oréal has a “We all have a touch of Karl” campaign playing up some of late fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld’s sayings, but it leaves out some of his most controversial late-life pronouncements about Muslims and the #MeToo movement.
The campaign backs the recently launched Karl Lagerfeld X L’Oréal Paris makeup collection, based on a collaboration that began before Lagerfeld died earlier this year at 85. A September “We all have a touch of Karl” video from McCann features brand spokespeople Helen Mirren, Liya Kebede and Soo Joo Park among others dressing up like Lagerfeld and mouthing famous “Karlisms.”
Not included is this one from a French TV talk show in 2017, as he criticized German immigration policies: “One cannot – even if there are decades between them – kill millions of Jews so you can bring millions of their worst enemies in their place.”
A year later, Lagerfeld said in an interview he was “fed up” with the #MeToo movement. “What shocks me most in all of this are the starlets who have taken 20 years to remember what happened,” he was quoted as saying. “Not to mention the fact that there are no prosecution witnesses.”
Defending his friend, stylist Karl Templer, from accusations about his conduct at photo shoots, Lagerfeld went on: “If you don’t want your pants pulled about, don’t become a model! Join a nunnery. There’ll always be a place for you in the convent. They’re recruiting even.”
According to a statement from McCann, the “We all have a touch of Karl” campaign was meant to capture “the emotion Karl Lagerfeld elicited with each of his public appearances, his fashion collections and his biting punchlines.” The agency referred calls for further comment to the client.
Asked for comment about those more controversial statements in context of the campaign, Cara Kamanev, VP of brand communications and strategic initiatives for L’Oréal Paris, said only this in an email:
“Both the campaign and collection celebrate the distinctive creative vision of Karl Lagerfeld, and a fresh interpretation of Parisienne beauty that makes up the DNA of both our brands. The collection reinvents modern classics, with Karl’s touches of irreverence – bringing to life his rock chic aesthetic and L’Oréal Paris’ empowered vision of beauty.
“The campaign was inspired by some of his most iconic Karlisms, like ‘Personality begins where comparison ends,’ which were chosen to celebrate the essence of his vision for makeup and self-expression, and which also inspired many of the lipstick shade names.”