Though renowned as a multi-hyphenate – designer, fashion photographer, loving cat owner – it’s not as well known that Karl Lagerfeld is a seasoned political cartoonist. The Chanel head has been contributing sketches to German magazine Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung since 2013, and his latest piece takes aim at German chancellor Angel Merkel.
His sketch blames Merkel for the rapid rise of the Alternative for Germany party, a far-right political group. A growing anti-immigration stance by the public is meant to have helped the party gain in popularity – Lagerfeld points to Merkel and her decision to allow up to 1million refugees into Germany, for this. The last national election saw Alternative for Germany become the third largest party, with 13 per cent of the vote, WWD reports.
“Thank you very much for inadvertently allowing my descendants to be represented in parliament,” Hitler tells Merkel in the drawing, who looks horrified, hands raised to her face and saying: “What have I done?”
“I am beside myself!” Lagerfeld, who grew up under Nazi rule in Germany, said of the far-right party’s growing popularity. “I hoped that something like this would never happen again in my life. I am ashamed of Germany.”
Lagerfeld has previously used his magazine slot to comment on the Greek debt crisis in 2015, depicting Merkel dropping coins into a barrel.
Alfons Kaiser, managing editor of the German monthly magazine, said of the designer’s work: “His wit is unique. His sketches show that he stands in the great tradition of German political cartoons and was influenced particularly by ‘Simplicissimus,’ the leading German satirical magazine of the pre-war times, which he read as a boy.”