Karl Lagerfeld was advised not to work for Chanel.

The 79-year-old designer - who took over at the helm of the fashion house in 1983, a decade after label founder COCO CHANEL's death - claimed it was more of a challenge than an honour to be tasked with revamping the luxury French brand.

Karl said: ''People think it was a great honour. When I started it was not a great honour. People said, 'Don't touch it, it's dead.' I liked it because it was a challenge.''

The fashion mogul describes his power as ''divine'' because he can do what he likes with the business now Chanel has become synonymous with his own aesthetic.

He continued: ''Now I am doing what I do and I can do it in divine condition. That is the top of luxury. I can do what I want because when I started with Chanel the owner said, 'I don't believe in it that much, so if it works, OK, if not, I sell it.' ''

Chanel has since changed the face of fashion and the wealth of the brand, which is owned by the Wertheimer family, is assumed to exceed all other houses.

Karl added in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph newspaper: ''In a way, I invented a kind of blueprint for this kind of revival. Gucci came later and the others all started later. For that I was the first. Not that it is important to be the first. What is important is that it works.''