'What I Hate Is Nasty, Ugly People:' Karl Lagerfeld Quotes Define Man Who Dressed a Generation

Iconic fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld died today aged 85.

Social media tributes poured in as news emerged from Paris he had passed away, reportedly following a brief period of illness. The exact cause of death remained unclear. Known for his personal flair—gloves, tinted glasses and dark suit—he was often at the centre of the fashion industry in the decades since being named art director of the house of Chanel in 1983.

"He is a force of nature, coupled with an enigmatic persona and an original perspective on fashion and pop culture," a short bio on his website reads. "He is renowned for his relevant approach to style and a curated vision that balances classic and contemporary influences."

"I design like I breathe, you don't ask to breathe—it just happens," Lagerfeld once said when describing his personal artistic process, according to his own brand's website.

As Vogue reported today upon the news of his death, concerns about Lagerfeld's health spiked in January after he was absent from the Chanel Haute Couture spring/summer 2019 show.

Vogue Paris published an homage to Lagerfeld today.

The fashion magazine's touching obituary stated: "His designs were the epitome of French elegance - a vision that he shared with the whole world. He approached each collection as though it were his first, and made all of his talent available to his team. He was liberated from the past but had no aspirations to dictate the future. In his own words, "La mode, c'est éphémère".

Lagerfeld, in his own words

Chanel confirmed to the Associated Press Lagerfeld died early Wednesday. In celebration of his visionary accomplishments, here are some of the best quotes from the designer:

"Life is not a beauty contest, some [ugly people] are great. What I hate is nasty, ugly people. The worst is ugly short men. Women can be short, but for men it is impossible. It is something that they will not forgive in life—they are mean and they want to kill you."—Vogue.

"I'm rather pro-prostitution. I admire people who do it. It can't be much fun. Thank goodness for it. People need relief or they become murderers."—Vogue.

"Vanity is the healthiest thing in life."—BrainyQuote

"Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants."—GoodReads

"Kate Middleton has a nice silhouette and she is the right girl for that boy. I like that kind of woman, I like romantic beauties. On the other hand, her sister struggles. I don't like the sister's face. She should only show her back."—HuffPost

"The thing at the moment is Adele. She is a little too fat, but she has a beautiful face and a divine voice."—Metro Paris, 2012

"Why should I stop working? If I do, I'll die and it'll all be finished. I'm lucky to work in the most perfect of conditions. I can do what I want in all kinds of areas. The expenses are not expenses. I would be stupid to stop that. Work is making a living out of being bored."—Vogue

"They are fat mummies sitting with their bags of crisps in front of the television, saying that thin models are ugly."—GoodReads

"When I was a child, my mother always told me that you could wake up in the middle of the night and be deathly sick, so you always have to be impeccable. I laugh about it now, but I think everyone should go to bed like they have a date at the door."—Vogue

"You cannot fight against it. There's a price you have to pay for fame, and people who don't want to pay that price can get in trouble. I accepted the idea of celebrity because of a French expression: 'You cannot have the butter and the money for the butter.'"—Vogue

"I like to reinvent myself—it's part of my job."—GoodReads

"Don't sacrifice yourself too much, because if you sacrifice too much there's nothing else you can give and nobody will care for you."—GoodReads

"When people talk about the good old days, I say to people, 'It's not the days that are old, it's you that's old.' I hate the good old days. What is important is that today is good."—GoodReads

Karl Lagerfeld
German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld poses in front of some of his pictures as he visits his exibition 'Karl Lagerfeld, parcours de travail', on September 14, 2010 at the Maison de la photographie in Paris. CELINE MIHALACHI/AFP/Getty Images