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Karl Lagerfeld’s 51-Year Relationship With Fendi Works Because He’s “Not on an Ego Trip”

Gigi Hadid and Karl Lagerfeld pose in the November 2016 issue of Harper's Bazaar.

Image: Karl Lagerfeld via Harper’s Bazaar

These days, creative directors dart from fashion house to fashion house like bees pollinating a very exclusive garden. Not so with Karl Lagerfeld. Choupette’s devoted dad has now spent 51 years designing for Fendi. Considering the brand’s only been around for 90, that’s a pretty astonishing feat.

To celebrate its astoundingly successful open relationship with Lagerfeld and near-century in business, the brand staged a breathtaking haute couture show on Rome’s newly renovated (thanks to Fendi funds) Trevi Fountain. Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid walked on water, but the elder Hadid, a Lagerfeld favorite, was noticeably earthbound.

Gigi Hadid for Harper's Bazaar November 2016.

Image: Karl Lagerfeld via Harper’s Bazaar

As if to compensate for this omission, over the last two months, Lagerfeld has shot Gigi Hadid for Harper’s Bazaar not once, but twice. In the latest round of images, Gigi models Karl’s story tale-inspired Fendi designs. In Harper’s November issue — hitting newsstands today — Lagerfeld discusses what it is that keeps his relationship with the Fendi family alive.

For starters, Karl — ever the fashion chameleon — thrives on independence. “I never had the feeling I was married, so it was like an open-marriage situation. I’ve kept the passion because there is no exclusivity. I need the fresh air from the outside to see what’s going on. If you put me in a cage, I am worthless,” he shares.

Gigi Hadid for Harper's Bazaar November 2016.

Image: Karl Lagerfeld

Second, he’s a self-described gem to work with (Why would you ever think otherwise?). “I’m easy to work with. I’m not on an ego trip,” claims the man who asked his mother for a valet at the age of four and refuses to design for plus-size models. “Many other designers have an ego problem. Most of them do. That’s really the problem.” We suppose this is good news for the many employees of Karl Lagerfeld Hotels & Resorts, coming 2017.

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[ via Harper’s Bazaar ]