Luxury fasion designer Karl Lagerfeldis being investigated for an alleged tax evasion scandal.
The 82-year-old creative director and designer of Chanel, Fendi, and his namesake brand is reportedly at the center of an investigation by French authorities for allegedly squirrelling away up to $22 millionthrough companies based in the U.S., Ireland, and the British Virgin Islands, according to French paper L’Express.
Tax authorities are starting at one spot: a Parisian bookshop called 7L, founded in 1999 by Lagerfeld. The chic bookshop, situated just across the River Seine from the Louvre, sells art and photography books — and reports a loss, allowing it to avoid paying local taxes.
But the alleged investigation suggests that Lagerfeld is concealing “undeclared professional activity” by allowing a photography studio with British ownership to operate out of the bookshop and take in revenue for Lagerfeld’s photography work separately.
The multi-talented Lagerfeld is, in fact, a noted photographer: he shoots most of his own high-fashion campaigns, and even currently has a collection of his photographs on display at a gallery in Paris. Meanwhile, his high-profile Siamese cat, Choupette, made a reported $3.3 million as a model in 2015 alone.
A spokeswoman for Lagerfeld, Caroline Lebar, said Thursday that he had “no wish to evade the law” and will be working with financial advisors to resolve the situation. French officials have refrained from commenting, for privacy reasons. And Lagerfeld’s Twitter and Instagram channels have remained quiet.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.