FashionKarl Lagerfeld Was a ‘Warrior’ in Face of Sickness,...

Karl Lagerfeld Was a ‘Warrior’ in Face of Sickness, New Ebook Reveals – WWD


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Among the many late Karl Lagerfeld’s private convictions was that one’s well being is an unseemly, rude subject for dialog.

So Sébastien Jondeau, Karl Lagerfeld’s longtime bodyguard and private assistant, admits that Lagerfeld — who died on Feb. 19, 2019 — would most likely be none too happy that his new book chronicles the designer’s four-year battle with most cancers intimately, from the primary alerts — issues relieving himself — to the immunotherapy and radiation remedies, hospital stays, fluid retention and all of the ups and downs of a horrible, relentless illness.

The French-language title comes out Jan. 27.

The French-language title comes out Jan. 27. 
Courtesy of Karl Lagerfeld Model

“Your motto was extra: ‘Dwell with dignity, work, say nothing,’” he writes. “To inform my life story right here, earlier than you, with you, after you, can be to speak about mourning, admiration, rising to the highest.”

Jondeau additionally gave an unflinching account to point out “what a warrior” Lagerfeld was in preventing the sickness and never letting it interrupt his staggering artistic output, which was his true raison d’être. To wit: “Ça va, cher Karl?” — Jondeau’s new French language guide that’s out Jan. 27 from Flammarion — describes how Lagerfeld, from his mattress on the American Hospital, his lungs filling with fluid and his voice weakened, stayed in fixed contact with the group at Fendi, satisfied he could be at Milan Trend Week later that month to unveil the fall-winter 2019 assortment.

Jondeau had booked the non-public aircraft, having seen Lagerfeld rally many instances from his sickness, recognized to only a few in his interior circle and saved out of the press, thanks largely to the vigilance and ingenuity of Jondeau, who battled to guard Lagerfeld for 20 years.

“He continued to work, he continued to do photoshoots, to do campaigns, to do collections — all the pieces,” he marveled in an interview. “For me, Karl was type of a hero to face it like this.”

Certainly, towards the tip of the 220-page guide, he anoints Lagerfeld “the Muhammad Ali of style. You had been knocked out standing, till the final second on the telephone with Fendi in Milan.”

Sébastien Jondeau and Karl Lagerfeld at Le Sénéquier in Saint-Tropez.

Sébastien Jondeau and Karl Lagerfeld at Le Sénéquier in Saint-Tropez. 
Courtesy of Karl Lagerfeld Model

The guide reveals Jondeau to be a warrior additionally, having scrabbled his means from a rough-and-tumble upbringing to working for one of many world’s biggest style designers, and in addition rebounded from the demise of his father and mom from most cancers, in 1999 and 2003, respectively, and plenty of failed romances, principally his fault, he admits.

The 45-year-old wished folks to know {that a} fairy-tale life is feasible — and with out ever forgetting your roots. To make certain, the strapping Jondeau introduced greater than muscle and road smarts to his all-consuming job as Lagerfeld’s right-hand man. His work required attraction, diplomacy and initiative — and he delivered in spades.

In an interview, Jondeau allowed that Lagerfeld finally grew to become a treasured good friend, confidant — and a father and mom determine, too. “I spent extra time with him than my very own dad and mom, my family,” he stated. “It was six days per week, and from morning till late at night time. It was 24/7 till the tip.”

But he by no means forgot that the designer was his boss and that his job was an essential one. He by no means wished to let Lagerfeld down, and he didn’t — even finishing the final job requested of him: ensuring his ashes had been launched into the Mediterranean Sea.

Sébastien Jondeau modeling for the Karl Lagerfeld brand.

Sébastien Jondeau modeling for the Karl Lagerfeld model. 
Courtesy of Karl Lagerfeld Model

Jondeau additionally obeyed Lagerfeld’s urging that he mustn’t work for anyone else, and so he continues his function as an ambassador and consultant for the Karl Lagerfeld model and contributing to the artistic group at Fendi on sport-related clothes and niknaks.

“I used to be doing my job nicely after I was caring for him, as if he was all the pieces for me — and he was all the pieces for me,” he stated ruefully.

Whereas he’s usually lumped in with the opposite outstanding and good-looking males in Lagerfeld’s entourage — the fashions Brad Koenig, Jake Davies and Baptiste Giabiconi — Jondeau pressured within the interview that he was an worker before everything, not an amusing a part of the designer’s social circle. Within the guide, he’s clever to Lagerfeld’s Machiavellian methods, and the self-interests of the fashions, noting how Koenig all the time ordered the most costly factor on the menu.

“It’s not very straightforward when somebody chooses your mates for you,” he stated diplomatically.

Sébastien Jondeau at a campaign shoot for Karl Lagerfeld men's wear.

Sébastien Jondeau at a marketing campaign shoot for Karl Lagerfeld males’s put on. 
Courtesy of Karl Lagerfeld Model

His guide, written in collaboration with famend French style journalist Virginie Mouzat, unfurls in a collection of recollections, as if randomly plucking Polaroids of his life out of a shoebox and explaining them. Mouzat, finest often called Le Figaro’s longtime style editor, insisted on preserving Jondeau’s voice, and it’s loaded with slang from the suburbs.

Jondeau lays naked his personal battles and demons, describing an advanced relationship together with his delivery dad and mom, and a bent to be brusque and impulsive — tough edges that had been partly smoothed over the longer he labored with Lagerfeld and his key deputies, notably Eric Pfrunder, who labored with the designer on Chanel’s picture and his picture work.

He additionally doesn’t mince phrases concerning his style for the women, recounting in graphic element his first sexual encounter, and his many romances and relationships, figuring out every lady with solely an preliminary. He was engaged as soon as, and Lagerfeld even threw a celebration to have a good time it, however a concern of dedication and different points scuttled that affair, and numerous others.

Within the interview, Jondeau stated he’s exploring his relationship issues and unresolved household points with a psychotherapist.

Like Lagerfeld, Jondeau boasts an unimaginable reminiscence for element, capable of recount vividly occasions even from when he was 4 years previous, similar to when he stole a good friend’s bicycle, went racing down a hill, solely to find his palms had been too small to achieve the brakes and he crashed right into a lamppost, leading to a brow gash that required stitches.

Additionally like Lagerfeld, Jondeau took his job very severely and labored extraordinarily laborious on a number of duties, from managing the designer’s travels — a feat involving as much as 30 items of baggage every time — to organizing sporting actions for Lagerfeld’s summer season company.

Sébastien Jondeau and Karl Lagerfeld try out newfangled scooters.

Sébastien Jondeau and Karl Lagerfeld check out newfangled scooters. 
Courtesy of Karl Lagerfeld Model

Jondeau’s surprise is palpable as he discovers the world on the elbow of the globe-trotting designer, agog to go to locations like New York Metropolis, Cuba, Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai as Lagerfeld mounted lavish style exhibits for Chanel and Fendi. Throughout a swing via Los Angeles, Lagerfeld’s nice good friend Ingrid Sischy, the late editor in chief of Interview, had organized for the designer to shoot a who’s-who of Hollywood, together with a few of Jondeau’s idols: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Benicio del Toro and Jack Nicholson.

Like Lagerfeld, Jondeau suffers no fools and skewers the ungracious, from singers Christina Aguilera and Marilyn Manson to hotelier Michel Reybier, proprietor of La Réserve in Ramatuelle.

One other picture shoot additionally sticks in his reminiscence: When Helmut Newton got here to take a portrait of Lagerfeld at his condominium at 51 Rue de l’Université. “I might have beloved to ask Newton to take an image of the 2 of us, however I didn’t dare and I remorse it,” he writes.

Little doubt Jondeau’s gap-toothed grin and six-pack abs have helped fan his fame on Instagram, the place he enjoys 45,000 followers. However he credit Cara Delevingne for the lion’s share of these numbers. Seated subsequent to the British mannequin on the Bal de la Rose, a charity profit in Monaco, Jondeau recalled how she snapped a selfie with him, posted to her Instagram account together with a hyperlink to @bentoub. The notifications got here so thick and quick his telephone nearly self-destructed.

In methods touching and in addition matter-of-fact, Jondeau exalts Lagerfeld’s unimaginable generosity, intelligence and kindness through small however revealing anecdotes.

Karl Lagerfeld and Sébastien Jondeau in the Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII.

Karl Lagerfeld and Sébastien Jondeau within the Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII. 
Courtesy of Karl Lagerfeld Model

He describes him as an awesome boss, very demanding and exacting over the small particulars, however “fairly cool” about all the pieces else.

Jondeau did his first job for Lagerfeld at 16, when he was working for his step-father’s shifting firm, and so they struck up a rapport. Ever well mannered, the designer greeted each employee dispatched to maneuver a few of his 18th-century furnishings, however he spoke to Jondeau at size.

Further shifting jobs segued right into a full-time supply in 1999, with Jondeau performing initially as chauffeur and bodyguard, steadily taking over extra duties because the designer’s private assistant and supervisor of the workers in Lagerfeld’s orbit.

His beginning wage was 2,300 euros internet a month, and his duties and remuneration grew shortly. Lagerfeld lavished Jondeau with garments, presents and pocket cash, sharing his non-public aircraft and his glamorous way of life and encounters.

Jondeau recounts an opportunity assembly on the Mercer in New York with Kanye West, who was so keen to fulfill Lagerfeld and share a brand new monitor that he dragged the 2 males, plus Girl Amanda Harlech, into his Maybach parked in entrance of the resort. West bounced in his seat because the track performed at bone-rattling quantity, whereas Lagerfeld sat ramrod in his darkish glasses.

“When the track lastly stopped, Karl blurted out, ‘Excellent. Can I am going again to the resort now?’” he writes.

Strolling in Saint-Tropez.

Strolling in Saint-Tropez. 
Courtesy of Karl Lagerfeld Model

Extra touching encounters additionally occurred in automobiles. When Lagerfeld was weakened by most cancers remedies, his urge for food lagging, Jondeau would ferry him within the Rolls-Royce Phantom 8  to his favourite pizzeria, and as soon as stated, ‘Let’s attempt McDonald’s,” and the designer downed two cheeseburgers earlier than they arrived again at Lagerfeld’s residence. “This happy me a lot,” he writes.

Jondeau additionally vividly describes the harsher realities of the poor, gritty neighborhoods exterior of Paris the place he grew up, the place medicine, crime and industrial accidents are a part of life. But his connections to the folks there remained steadfast, and plenty of of his closest buddies and their kids all had brushes with Lagerfeld, who took a eager curiosity in Jondeau’s friendships, romances and travails.

Ever resourceful, Jondeau would shield Karl’s pocketbook additionally, continuously sending his buddies into vintage shops Lagerfeld frequented to seek out out the “actual value” of things, versus the one fabricated for a rich designer.

Wanting forward, Jondeau stated he’s working towards opening a resort within the south of France that will supply a broad array of sport actions, leveraging his ardour for boxing, kite browsing, browsing, foil board, jet snowboarding, mountain biking, and all method of coaching and excessive sports activities. He’s additionally within the throes of getting his pilot’s license and would like to take up crusing.

Moreover his style initiatives, he’s additionally companion in an occasion safety agency referred to as LPN run by a few of his buddies.

“I combine style and sport and the road, as a result of I got here from the road,” he stated. “Sports activities garments, road garments blended up — I understand how to do it.”

Within the guide, Jondeau stated he feeds off adrenaline — and he discovered it in excessive sports activities, girls, pace and in working with Lagerfeld.

“He was very fortunate as a result of he was a genius. He can do issues in two minutes. It was straightforward for him to place his concepts on paper. I’ve seen him draw a full assortment in half-hour. Actually. It’s loopy,” he marveled.

Within the guide, Jondeau reveals that he selected Lagerfeld’s cremation outfit: a Saint Laurent jacket by Hedi Slimane, a custom-made Hilditch & Key shirt, a locket containing a portrait of his beloved cat Choupette, the purple Hublot watch Jondeau gave him as a birthday reward and a Chanel pouch in stingray that the designer toted in all places, its contents a thriller.

All through his battle with most cancers, Lagerfeld resisted any and all dialogue about what ought to occur to him or Jondeau after his passing.

“I by no means dared to ask you for particulars. I knew you wished to spare me. You knew that I used to be, beneath my powerful exterior, a delicate individual,” he writes.

For the duvet of the guide, Jondeau chosen a picture from a Karl Lagerfeld marketing campaign shoot in October 2018, when the illness was tightening its grip. Jondeau seems within the foreground, and Lagerfeld is in shadow, his again to the digital camera.

“Once I have a look at this image, I can’t assist seeing that you’re about to go, to glide from this period into the shadows, my grasp leaving me,” he writes. “The tables have been turned. It was all the time I that was within the shadow of your fame, your overwhelming presence and your energy.”

See additionally:

Karl Lagerfeld Dies in Paris


Report Stirs Up Interest in Karl Lagerfeld Fortune 


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