In January, Newsweek style writer Robin Givhan published a thoughtful essay about the influence of fashion’s foot-in-mouth Renaissance man Karl Lagerfeld.
“Karl Lagerfeld is overrated,” it began. “Such a statement rings like heresy within a fashion universe where the highly acclaimed designer struts upon his lofty stage as the creative director of Chanel—but it’s true.”
It rang like heresy to Mr. Lagerfeld, anyway. He’s been punishing Newsweek boss Tina Brown for it ever since.
“I feel sorry for Tina Brown that her paper is really going dow,” he said. “It’s so skinny, it’s really what we call a ‘diet issue’ because it has no advertising and she certainly will not get advertising with this kind of article. I’ve never heard of this journalist before, except for what she had written about Mrs. Obama, which made me already not like her — the journalist, not Mrs. Obama.”
Ms. Givhan still secured an invite to the Chanel runway show earlier this month, but she was exiled from her perennial front row perch.
“A pair of binoculars might have helped,” she told the Toronto Star.
At a press conference today in Tokyo today, Mr. Lagerfeld took yet another swipe at Ms. Brown, according to WWD. It reports:
“Asked by a journalist from Indonesia what he made of a recent Newsweek story claiming that he is overrated, he fired back: ‘First of all, Tina Brown’s magazine is not doing well at all,’ he said before ripping into the credibility of the story. ‘She is dying,’ he continued. ‘I’m sorry for Tina Brown, who was such a success at Vanity Fair, to go down with a shitty little paper like this. I’m sorry.’”
When reached for comment, Newsweek spokesman Andrew Kirk told us:
“In the past year since Tina Brown took over as editor in chief of Newsweek, newsstand sales have increased 30% year on year, advertising pages have seen a 27% increase for the first quarter of 2012, we have over 2.2 million people engaged in our social media communities and perhaps the most telling indicator of the renewed vitality of Newsweek, subscription renewals, in a consistent state of decline since 2005, rose by 3% last year.”