By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated October 16, 2001 06:35 PM

In what is sure to spark a far-reaching reaction, one of Germany’s leading fashion designers, Wolfgang Joop, said in a newspaper interview published Monday that he did not regret the collapse of the World Trade Center. “The 11th of September set a learning process into motion,” Joop, 56, told the popular Bild daily. “In that, the Twin Towers, a symbol of capitalist arrogance, have fallen.” Reuters reports that Joop made the remark when asked to confirm an earlier interview in which he had said he did not regret the fall of the World Trade Center, which was destroyed on Sept. 11 by planes flown by suicide hijackers, leaving nearly 5,000 people dead or missing. Joop, whose mansion is one of the flashier homes on the posh waterfront in Potsdam, also criticized German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s declaration of unlimited solidarity with the U.S. following the attacks. According to his Web site, Joop, considered the king of German fashion and fragrance designers, was a journalist and freelance designer before he showed his first fur collection under his own label in 1978. In 1981, the Joop! Ready-to-wear line was added. Jeans and a fur line followed. He is married to Karin Benatzky, and they have two children, Henriette and Florentine. Attempting to do some damage control, Joop’s spokesman told the New York Post, “That doesn’t mean he has no feeling for the victims. He’s part of the story because he lost a friend.”