karl lagerfeld: “it felt like there was a black veil over the city”

The Paris fashion world responds to Friday’s attacks with pledges of solidarity and courage.

by Alice Newell-Hanson
Nov 16 2015, 5:10pm

via @louisvuitton

On Saturday in Paris, Karl Lagerfeld made his way to Colette and the iconic bookstore Galignani, in a demonstration of his belief that "life must go on." The designer's words echoed the sentiments of many Parisian fashion designers and executives interviewed by WWD in the days following the devastating terrorist attacks on the city.

"This attack is an attack against our way of life, against our values, against liberty and against humanity," said François-Henri Pinault, the CEO of Kering, which owns brands including Balenciaga and Saint Laurent. "Under these circumstances, the most appropriate attitude is to continue living normally, by showing courage, solidarity and vigilance."

Yesterday, the country observed a moment of silence for the victims. And today the country remains in a state of national mourning. But many businesses are now open again. Pierre Bergé told WWD, "As the Americans say, 'The show must go.' We must not submit to terrorists. People must live their lives, go to school, visit the theater, visit the shops."

Designers reflected too on the loss of friends and colleagues. Company statements from Isabel Marant and Coty Inc. expressed devastation over the death of coworkers Djamila Houd and Marie Lausch respectively, and sent condolences to their families and all those affected.

Olivier Rousteing described how close the attacks were to his home and to those of many of his team who also live in the 11th arrondissement. He added, "I had a conversation with my mother yesterday and she told me we have to fight for the next generation, to preserve our beautiful world for them, to fight for freedom and for the values of France. We need to keep positive energy and go on living."

Over the weekend, fashion people from around the world expressed their sentiments via social media, joining the global outpouring of grief. On Twitter, @RalphLauren wrote, "Ralph Lauren sends its deepest thoughts and prayers to Paris, always the City of Light." The Marc Jacobs Instagram account posted illustrator Jean Julien's now instantly recognizable image of a peaceful Eiffel Tower with the caption "Our thoughts and prayers go out to all in Paris. Stay safe. We love you." And many, including J.W. Anderson, posted blank, black squares as symbols of sadness and solidarity.


Text Alice Newell-Hanson

Karl Lagerfeld
Olivier Rousteing