Karl Lagerfeld sees himself as the ''Joan of Arc of design''.

The 82-year-old fashion designer has compared himself to the French heroine - who believed God told her how to lead the French army to victory as a teenager in the 15th century - because he does whatever his ''inner voices'' say he should.

Asked whether he thinks about the commercial appeal of items when he's designing, he replied: ''I never think about that. I just do what my inner voices tell me. I'm the Joan of Arc of design. I don't ask myself these kind of questions. I'm not a marketing person. I work with instinct. Sometimes I'm surprised myself.''

Karl - who is head designer and creative director of Chanel - continued to explain he doesn't think of his work as ''business'' at all, as he avoids all meetings and all talk of marketing.

He told the BBC: ''I think after a certain amount of years your priorities change a little and your mind is freer. I don't have to battle for what I'm doing, I just do it. The circumstances of my job are nearly unique.

''I'm not into business, I don't ever think in terms of business. I don't go to meetings, I don't do marketing things, nothing, I just think, 'Let's try this, let's do this, let's do this'.

''When I took over the house, the owner said to me, 'For the moment it's not very trendy, I'm not really proud of it. Do what you want. If it works, OK, if it doesn't work, I sell it.' But it worked beyond.''