“Words fail me on how to express what I feel so deeply inside as I hear this shocking news. Nothing could be enough to evoke all the complicity, the tenderness and the love that has united us over so many years. When I met Karl for the first time, during a lunch at the Studio 7L – his favourite place on Paris’ Left Bank, comparable to Andy Warhol’s factory – I was immediately fascinated by this unusual character, so creative, so inspiring, a man of unrivalled wit and repartee. It was twenty years ago, right at the beginning of Numéro, at the dawn of a long collaboration that saw him create, as a photographer, endless haute couture photo shoots for the magazine. Karl was loved by all of his collaborators, who praised his boundless generosity, and have remained faithful to him over time. Ever looking forward, without nostalgia, Karl was scared of nothing. Carried by an exceptional capacity to reinvent himself, he excelled in every domain. During the photo shoots we did together for Numéro, his communicative energy was matched only by his self-will and his self-depreciation. Beyond a fashion designer, Karl was a contemporary icon, and our night time shoots would generate real crowds in the streets of the capital: he was a veritable rock star. In addition to his extraordinary finesse and his incomparable knowledge, his sense of humour was legendary. For years he would called “Madame Babeth” in reference to Madame Claude’s girls! He fine honed the art of laughing everything off, and would always have a kind word for anyone who approached him. I have always admired his extreme modesty, his immense freedom of spirit and emotional intelligence. Karl will live in my heart forever. It is a true friend that I have lost today.”

 

Babeth