Exclusive: Karl Lagerfeld tells ITV News he will never retire as 'who would take over from him?'

Karl Lagerfeld Credit: ITV News

Bedecked with jewellery, dark sunglasses and fingerless gloves, the iconic fashion designer behind some of the industry's biggest names agreed to an exclusive chat with ITV News.

Video report by ITV News correspondent Nina Nannar:

Karl Lagerfeld was in London for the opening of the Mademoiselle Privé exhibition - a collection of dazzling Chanel jewellery, some of which dates back more than 80 years.

Also featuring classic clothing designs from both Coco Chanel herself and her successor, the exhibition is being held at the Saatchi Gallery in London.

Lagerfeld - who also runs Fendi as well as his own label - revealed Coco "would have hated" what he had done with the brand, saying she was "never very nice" to other designers.

Coco Chanel 'would have hated' his work, Lagerfeld revealed Credit: ITV News

In fact, he added, he was rather relieved that she never had chance to criticise him, having taken over some 12 years after her death.

Despite his concern for what the label's founder may have thought, Lagerfeld is credited with turning the Chanel brand into the fashion giant it is today.

He told ITV News correspondent Nina Nannar that the company now performed "20 or 30 times" better than it did when he took the helm.

He managed to shed the "untrendy" label given to Coco, who notoriously detested jeans and mini skirts, but admitted he had "never expected" the company to boom the way it did.

He dismissed conversations on "moral responsibility", saying he was merely concerned with giving people "something pleasant to look at" amidst all the trouble in the world.

Luxury has a place in society, he said, and is "just another industry" - similar to cars and aeroplanes.

The exhibition also features classic Chanel clothing designs Credit: ITV News
Some of the Chanel dresses on show Credit: ITV News

Read: 10 things: Chanel and Lagerfeld

Fashion is "never ugly", he added, even if it's not to an individual's taste, as it is always "interesting" and reflects the time in which it was created.

Lagerfeld insisted he never looks to the past, and tries not to dwell on it when working on his designs as he can only focus on what's next - but he became rather more cagey when questioned about his own future.

His contract is lifelong, he said, adding: "My fortune teller, when I was young, told me: 'For you, it will start when it stops for the others'. That is true."