With eight arms and alien-like DNA, the octopus is nature's consummate survior. The busiest man in fashion ponders the meaning of artist Takashi Murakami's latest creation. By karl Lagerfeld.
Karl Lagerfeld with Taco 7,
a character from Takashi
exhibition “The Octopus
Eats Its Own Leg
I love Murakami’s octopus character, Taco 7, because it’s just so funny. Although I’ve never actually met Takashi, I think he’s a l wonderful artist. And if he’s anything like what he expresses in his art, I’m sure we would get along. d But am I like his octopus that eats its own leg in order to survive? In some ways, I guess. I have survived in the world pretty well. I have lifelong contracts at two billion-dollar companies, Fendi and Chanel, which gives me a level of freedom that—let’s be honest—nobody else in fashion really has.
I’m often asked how I do what I do—how I juggle so many things at the same time, like an octopus—but it’s totally normal to me. I don’t have tentacles like an octopus, but if I did they would be my teams. I can’t do what I do alone. The only thing I know how to do is sketch and come up with a few ideas, but for the rest of it, I need help.
Another way I am perhaps like an octopus is that I’m very curious. I want to know and see everything. The most important thing for me is having the freedom to explore ideas and try new things. I don’t even work for money anymore. To me, freedom is the pinnacle of luxury. I’m an expert at forgetting my problems, if that makes sense, and care more about other people’s. Who knows? Maybe I did once eat my own leg. There’s that wonderful Billie Holiday line, “It’s easy to remember but so hard to forget,” but for me, it’s reversed—things are hard to remember and easy to forget. It’s a very funny and very pleasant way to live.
AS TOLD TO CHRISTOPHER TENNANT. PRODUCTION: CÉLINE GUILLERM FOR OCTOPIX.FR.
ARTWORK: © TAKASHI MURAKAMI/KAIKAI KIKI CO., LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED