Eveline Harvey

Eveline Harvey is nzherald.co.nz's travel editor.

No one wants to look at chubby women, says designer

German designer Karl Lagerfeld has waded into the debate on too-thin models, telling a German publication that no one wants to look at chubby women on the runway.

His comments come a week after popular German women's magazine Brigitte announced it would no longer use professional models for its photo shoots.

"Fat mummies sit there in front of the television with their chip packets and say skinny models are ugly," Lagerfeld told Focus magazine in an interview published yesterday.

The world of beautiful clothes was ultimately about "dreams and illusions", he added, and no one really wanted to see overweight women.

Andreas Lebert, Brigitte's editor-in-chief, told the Guardian last week that the magazine would stop using professional models next year because he was "fed up" with having to retouch photos of underweight models to make them appear fatter.

The magazine would instead use images of "real life" women, who Lebert hoped would come from all walks of life.

"We're looking for women who have their own identity, whether it be the 18-year-old A-level student, the company chairwoman, the musician, or the footballer," he said.

Lagerfeld is not the only person to have spoken out in defence of the modelling industry.

German designer John Ribbe told Focus the controversy over stick-thin models on catwalks and in fashion magazines was nothing but hysteria.

"Ninety per cent [of the models] are totally normal, well-proportioned girls - with less fat and more muscles, who also eat pizza and burgers," he said.

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