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Karl Lagerfeld says only ‘fat mummies’ object to thin models. German designer claims objections to ‘size-zero’ models are driven by overweight women.

The Iconic German fashion designer said: “These are fat mummies sitting with their bags of crisps in front of the television, saying that thin models are ugly,” said Lagerfeld in an interview with the magazine Focus. The designer, who lost a lot of weight himself when he went on a strict low-carbohydrate diet several years ago, added that the world of fashion was all to do “with dreams and illusions, and no one wants to see round women”.


Karl Lagerfeld, the eccentric German fashion tsar, has waded into the debate about size-zero models by saying that people want to look at “skinny models” and classing those who complain as “fat mummies”.

Lagerfeld, 71, was reacting to the magazine Brigitte’s announcement last week that it will in future use “ordinary, realistic” women rather than professional models in its photo shoots. He said the decision by Germany’s most popular women’s magazine was “absurd” and driven by overweight women who did not like to be reminded of their weight issues.

At a time when the fashion world is starting to hit back at the claims that it encourages anorexia, the Hamburg fashion designer John Ribbe, a regular participant in the Paris fashion show, said the row over underweight models had become hysterical.


“It’s just as much a cliché as saying that all models take drugs and get drunk at sex orgies,” he said.

“Ninety per cent of them are quite normal, properly proportioned girls with less fat and more muscles, who also eat pizzas and burgers.”

Brigitte’s editor, Andreas Lebert, said that after years of having to “fatten up” pictures of underweight models with Photoshop, the magazine would produce its first edition with non-professional models on 2 January. “We will show women who have their own identity, the 18-year-old A-level student, the company chairwoman, the musician, the footballer,” he said.

The decision follows a recent appeal by British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman to major fashion houses to end the “size-zero” culture, and a scandal over a Ralph Lauren advertising campaign in which a model had been thinned down using computer graphics.