Last Updated on 12th November 2010

Coco Chanel may be one of the most highly regarded names in fashion’s history, but one man would have it told another way – Karl Lagerfeld has suggested Coco’s legacy isn’t quite as iconic as it would appear.

Speaking at the International Herald Tribune’s Heritage Luxury conference on Tuesday, the Chanel designer said the label’s original legend didn’t achieve as much as people praise her for.

“Coco did a lot but not as much as people think or as much she herself taught at the end of her career,” Vogue UK report the Kaiser saying. “She survived them all – she could pretend things people like Madame Vionnet couldn’t because they were not around and they didn’t have the personality to say the things Chanel did. She wasn’t only a designer – she was a woman of her time.”

And like any good myth that needs to be broken, Karl says Coco made two big mistakes at the end of her career that, in effect, ended it.

“The first was when she said ‘not one man I have spoken to likes a woman in mini skirts’. I think no one dared to tell this 86-year-old lady that mini skirts are great and really sexy,” he says. “Number two was when she decided blue jeans were horrible. This was the fashion of the world at that particular moment – it was the Sixties. No one wanted to be told by an old lady that miniskirts and jeans weren’t chic. The result was that she lost her power and in the end no one cared about what she did.”


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