There is, of course, no way to tally the net good or harm a person does on a balance sheet. (There is on The Good Place, the show Jamil stars in, but humans don’t have access to that accounting.) How we feel about a person often comes down to how they personally affected us. For Delevingne and others who personally knew Lagerfeld, that relationship was positive.

But the situation is more complicated when talking about public figures who could have an influence on people they never met. Lagerfeld’s comments contributed to an unhealthy idea of how women should look and expect to be treated. Models, possibly including some he worked with, could be harmed by those paradigms. Luxury giants LVMH and Kering deemed them harmful enough that in 2017 they joined forces in a charter that banned models under a certain size, required certificates from agencies validating that models were in good health, and stipulated that models be treated with professionalism, setting out standards for situations such as shoots involving nudity. (LVMH, it’s worth noting, is the owner of Fendi, the brand that Lagerfeld oversaw creatively for more than 50 years, meaning even he was bound by the rules of this charter.)

Lagerfeld affected different people in different ways, which is also to say that both views of him could be right. Reflecting on the dead isn’t always about looking objectively at the life of the person lost. It can be about the mourner soothing the pain they feel over the death, which makes it understandable that they would focus on the good. But it can also be about taking an honest accounting of a person’s life. In that case, it’s necessary to remember both.

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