Karl Lagerfeld has opted to take the 'blow road' as he returns the sharp criticism sent his way by YSL's Pierre Bergé. In a recent interview, the former Yves Saint Laurent boss sharply criticised two successors of the late couturier, Tom Ford and Stefano Pilati, as well as throwing some shade Lagerfeld's way...

"Karl's problem is the following: it's like two starlets in the theatre or cinema, when one becomes Marilyn Monroe and the other is a nobody," Bergé told Suzy Menkes in the interview for Vogue online. "I like Karl a lot – I've known him forever. He is really cultivated and very intelligent. Karl's big problem is that he has never been successful with his own label. And he has not been able to reach the same level of success as under the name of Chanel. It is sad."

Lagerfeld has responded to Bergé, who in December, as reported by Buro 24/7 Middle East, will start to auction off his impressive library, dishing out the advice that "he should stick with his old books."

Related story – For sale: Pierre Bergé lifts curtain on private library of rare books

Chanel's head honcho went on to reveal to WWD that he has not seen Bergé privately for over four decades, saying "He's from another era, times are not the same. He has to adapt to the times. The times don't have to adapt to him. If he doesn't like them, he should shut up and retire."

"He should be a little bit modest," Lagerfeld continued, explaining that his own name label is "exactly what I wanted from the beginning: not in ready-to-wear or couture. I wanted to have it different from Fendi and Chanel."

Bergé said of Tom Ford and Stefano Pilati: "I recognise a lot of talent from Tom Ford – but it is for marketing. And that he had, in effect, redone the Gucci brand in a spectacular fashion, and I have a lot of admiration for that. I will say to you again, 'admiration.' But he was incapable of succeeding at Yves Saint Laurent. Therefore it was, as you know, a flop. As for Pilati, it is better not to talk about it because it was nothing at all."

Lagerfeld also leapt to Ford and Pilati's defence, saying that Bergé and company were "horrible" to him and it's difficult to succeed when you only encounter "bad vibes."