Kristen Stewart on Relationship With Karl Lagerfeld: He Was ‘Incredibly Inviting — Insanely, Shockingly Unpretentious’

Kristen Stewart May 9, 2018
Kristen Stewart attends the Chanel and Vanity Fair France party on May 9, 2018 in Cannes, France. Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Chanel

On the front cover of Vanity Fair’s September 2019 issue, you’ll find Kristen Stewart staring back at you. She’s decked out Chanel: a bright, embroidered fuchsia blazer with silver embellishments and a ruffled white Chanel blouse underneath. As the actress begins the next chapter of her career in Benedict Andrews’s Seberg, she pauses to reflect on her career and accomplishments thus far — and her relationship with Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld.

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Stewart speaks to her strong relationship with the brand, for which she’s been an ambassador since 2013: “With Chanel, I’ve never been made to feel like I was telling a story that wasn’t being pulled out of me in a really honest way.” Vanity Fair notes that the actress showed up to the Met Gala in “white sequined Chanel trousers, a black top, and orange ombré hair.” She’s unafraid to represent the design house in authentic way that feels like her own — and the reason for that might just be credited to Lagerfeld.

As a Chanel ambassador, Stewart has been the face of Chanel fragrance, makeup and eyewear. During this time, she developed a relationship with controversial designer and Chanel creative director Lagerfeld, who passed away from pancreatic cancer in February 2019. He had a tendency to cause controversy with insensitive remarks, but Kristen suggests that these comments shouldn’t define him entirely.

Kristen Stewart and Karl Lagerfeld
Karl Lagerfeld and Kristen Stewart pose backstage after the Chanel show during Paris Fashion Week on July 8, 2014 in Paris, France. Rindoff/Dufour/Getty Images

“It’s funny how he presents — so austere and so scary,” Stewart explains. “He wasn’t, though. He was incredibly inviting—insanely, shockingly unpretentious. He liked what he liked because he liked it. He was a fancy motherf–ker, but it was true to him.”

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The actress reflects on her conversations with Lagerfeld: “It’s almost like he sensed he was intimidating, so he was like, ‘No. To have a creative heart is daunting, but let’s get it beating faster and harder.’ He was always touching you while speaking to you. He never talked at you — if he was talking to you, he was usually holding your hand.”

“Luckily he knew how to leave a trace,” Kristen finishes. “There’s just a feeling that he gave me, an encouraging attaboy thing that shapes you in really profound ways.”

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