Have you ever wondered? We’ve wondered a lot. Fortunately, Karl really cleared that up for us in his recent interview for the Independent, where the interviewer notes:

He has often attributed his staccato speech patterns to his mother who, like her son, was a restless spirit and insisted he got straight to the point when he talked to her or else she would walk away.

He says now: “She was exactly what I needed – exactly what was needed for a child with a head like this”.

Ed note: we’re not entirely sure what this means, but we like it.

Accounts conflict as to whether Lagerfeld was born in Hamburg in 1933 or 1938. His father made a fortune manufacturing condensed milk and, as Hitler rose to power, moved his family to an isolated estate in the northern German countryside. Lagerfeld remembers that the first “real” books he read were Tolstoy’s War & Peace and Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks, a precocious choice by any standards.

“But I am a fashion designer, there’s no need to discuss serious literature. The point is, I was beyond pleased with myself – beyond – so I think I needed a little downer. I didn’t play with other children. I couldn’t have cared less. I hardly went to school. I learnt everything at home. By the time I was six I could speak German, English and French, because I asked for the teachers. My problem as a child was that I was bored to death, because I wanted to be a grown-up person. My childhood was endless – from eight to 18 felt like hundreds of years. Today, parents are too much on their children’s backs. They’re over-caring. Non. Children should be in the corner. I was always in the corner, reading or sketching. But I wanted to be there. That’s all I ever wanted to do.”

So, it was odd, and basically the same as Hannibal Lecter’s childhood. Good to know!