Sharon Ng Hayes of Backseat Stylers with her signed Chanel bagSo what does Karl think of superfans like Nelia and Sharon? Read on... Later, during my interview with Karl in a room away from the party scene, I asked him if it was still a thrill to generate this kind of reaction from fans. “I’m used to it,” he said. “It doesn’t bother me, as long as they don’t touch me too much.” At this point, one of his assistants added that it can be frightening and a little crazy when everyone crushes around him. “Yes, but it’s very flattering too,” Karl added. “I don’t like to show up too much in public. This is my fourth party in less than five days: first Monte Carlo, then the boat party in New York City, then the Chanel party and now this.” After looking at photos of Choupette, taken in her suite at the Four Seasons Toronto, I told Karl that I wanted to share a story with him about a young Canadian model who would never forget him. “Linda Evangelista?” he asked. “No, she’s a new model who just had her Paris debut in your show and her name is Emma Génier,” I explained. “I don’t recall...can you show me her face?” he asked, leaning forward. His assistant immediately typed in Emma’s name on her iPhone. “Yes, that’s her,” I said. “ Oh, très jolie. Oui, oui,” Karl nodded.
I then quickly recounted the adventures and misadventures that Emma chronicled for us during the recent shows. After a few false starts and dashed hopes, Emma landed a fitting at Chanel. “Apparently she wore the last look you chose to include in your show,” I explained. “She was so excited to be there, and she told me she was so touched by your kindness.” “I am a very kind person,” Karl paused. “I know it must be awful for a girl to stand in front of some mean monster who says 'Walk!' I try to be in their skin and imagine how those kids feel.”Emma Génier on the Chanel fall/winter 2015 runway (image: Imaxtree.com)I hadn’t expected Karl to take such an interest in Emma’s story. I thought he might have become a little blasé about the influence he has on people. He must have countless fleeting exchanges that, unbeknownst to him, become defining moments for those he barely meets. At the end of our chat, which weaved from Choupette to the ‘70s revival to Kendall, I asked Karl if he would like to watch a 15-second video of Emma that I did moments after the Chanel show. “Yes,” he said, leaning over to take a look. “Oh, yes—she looks happy,” he said. “You know that sweater dress she is wearing? That has become one of the number one pieces sold from this collection. Please tell her that she took this simple little sweater dress and turned it into a star.” A fitting metaphor for what Karl has done—and will continue to do—whether it’s discovering a new model or transforming the launch of a Canadian condo project into an international happening. READ MORE Karl and Choupette visit Toronto. Seriously. Emma Génier gets her big break. Hello, Chanel! Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette: our favourite quotes