Cara Delevingne Remembers Her Friendship With Karl Lagerfeld
by Alexandra Hildreth
23 August 2022
Before Cara Delevingne was Karl Lagerfeld’s It-girl walking the runways of Chanel, she was an anxious, fresh-faced model backstage until he calmed her nerves and helped change the course of her career.
Earlier today, Vogue posted a Life in Looks video with Delevingne. In it, she recalls some of her most iconic outfits, including multiple Met Gala's and Eugenie’s royal wedding. The interview's most notable part, however, is her trip down memory lane where she opens up about her decade-long friendship with Lagerfeld whom she says, "I love and adore still, he changed my life forever."
The first Chanel show Delevingne walked, as she reminds us, was Haute Couture Fall 2012. At just 20 years old, she remembers being extremely skittish and jokes that when she gets particularly frightened she talks too much and acts erratically. Delevingne recounts to Vogue that backstage, as she tried to avoid making eye contact with Lagerfeld, he approached her and said, "Don’t worry, you’re meant to be here," beginning their long-term collaborative relationship.
She describes him as an immensely private person who, when he did speak, was an encouraging and friendly mentor to those around him. "He always liked to push me and I didn’t know he was pushing me to do things I didn’t think I could do,” Delevingne says. She values how he helped her see herself as not just a model, but also an artist. This confidence boosted Delevigne’s career in both fashion and Hollywood. "I never really realized how much confidence he gave me," she says.
To this day, Delevingne appreciates how Lagerfeld valued her creative perspective. "He always asked me my opinion on things," she says. Because of this, one of her favorite all-time looks is from when she sat front row at Chanel in 2017. She paired a classic Chanel tweed jacket with exposed Supreme boxers to play with genre and androgyny.
The last time Delevingne walked for Chanel was opening Lagerfeld's Fall 2019 show. She found the winter wonderland and community that came together to honor the late designer a whimsical experience. She tells Vogue that she will never forget all that he taught her.
Photo via Matteo Prandoni/BFA.com