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Karl Lagerfeld Reportedly Faces $21.6 Million Tax Probe

Photo: Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images

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French news weekly L’Express published a report this week alleging that Karl Lagerfeld avoided declaring $21.6 million in earnings over the past six years for his photography and freelance work. According to WWD, Lagerfeld's accountants and financial advisers are currently having an "open discussion" with French tax authorities. WWD's sources stress that the designer pays millions in taxes in France. Lagerfeld declined to comment to WWD.

His spokeswoman, Caroline Lebar, told the Associated Press that Lagerfeld had no intention of evading the law, and trusts his financial advisers to work out the situation with the tax authorities.

L’Express reported that the disputed income is not from the Chanel or Fendi fashion houses, but from other Lagerfeld projects. The designer has collaborated with other brands like cosmetics company Shu Uemura and Melissa shoes, and taken interior design gigs with residential lobbies for condominiums. The funds were allegedly funnelled through companies located in Ireland, Britain, the British Virgin Islands, and the US, according to L’Express. French authorities declined to comment on the report.

Lagerfeld joins a long list of designers who have faced tax scrutiny, including Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, and Miuccia Prada.