While Saunders never met Lagerfeld (who died at age 85 in 2019), Usher had “the opportunity to meet him a few times,” he said, and it was important that the designer draw parallels between Lagerfeld’s influence and the hitmaker’s final look. “He was very much heavily into music,” Saunders explained of Lagerfeld. “I watched quite a few interviews where he said he really loves Salt-N-Pepa and TLC and he loved playing hip hop music in the studio, with the influence of Chanel’s jewelry in respect to those things. So I thought the infusion of culture is a big thing for my brand, with the mix of that and having a musical influence with Usher being the muse for what I am making for the Met was absolutely perfect.”
“I think that his legacy deserves to be honored,” Usher said of the late designer.
Affectionately dubbed fashion’s biggest night, the Met Gala brings together a variety of tastemakers in culture, entertainment and beyond to raise funds for the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For Usher, the event serves as a chance to reflect on his career, a lifetime of work that has ultimately allowed him a seat at the table.
“I say the tide will always rise, you just have to be patient. My career has had all kinds of ups and downs. I remember the ups and I appreciate the downs, they make me better. I don’t look at things as problems or I don’t look at life ever as a loss. I’ll always look at hard times as lessons, never losses and an opportunity to just be better and to grow. It’s like roller skating, everybody rolls, you fall and you get back up,” he said.