Karl Lagerfeld won't take selfies.

The 81-year-old fashion designer has revealed he refuses to take photos of himself and often uses his assistant, Sébastien, to keep his fans at bay when they request he pose for selfies in the street.

He said: ''I don't do selfies. But other people do, and they all want to do selfies with me. No, no, no. Thank God, Sébastien, my assistant, he's mean to the people in the street, mean and rude. I'm a nice person.''

Karl - who is the creative director of Chanel and Italian label Fendi - thinks its normal for designers to avoid showing their fun side so they are taken more seriously as artists.

He explained to the New York Times newspaper: ''I don't think that most of the designers have a very quick sense of humour. They take themselves very seriously because they want to be taken as artists. I think we are artisans. It's an applied art. There's nothing bad about that. If you want to do art, then show it in a gallery.''

The fashion icon added he doesn't see his fellow French designers as his competition as they make him ''work better''.

He said: ''I don't see it like competition. I like when there are many people who do good things, because you work better if there is competition than if there are only third-rate people. Paris cannot be Paris only with one. But from me to you, there are very few who have, in terms of craftsmanship, the craftsmanship of high-quality couture.''