A new book about the late, great designer tells a story of 'fight, love, admiration and resilience'


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We’re not crazy about New Year's resolutions. However, reading more in 2021 seems like a healthy, and relatively achievable, goal with a wealth of exciting new releases to choose from.

Though you’d be hard-pressed to find a more passionate literary lover than the late Karl Lagerfeld, who had more than 300, 000 titles in his Paris residence. Now, two years since his passing, a new book to be released (in French at first, though the publishers promise an English version is imminent), celebrates the designer’s life and genius. Entitled Ça va, cher Karl? (How are you, dear Karl? in English); featuring a collection of personal memories from one of Lagerfeld’s closest friends, his bodyguard/driver/personal assistant Sébastien Jondeau, for more than 20 years.

French fashion writer and friend to Karl, Virginie Mouzat (one of Lagerfeld’s favourite models when she was young - the pair stayed close when she later pursued a career in journalism), helped Jondeau develop the story, which she describes on Instagram as “a rough and magic ride, from the 95 suburbs to the super luxurious Quai Voltaire, a story of fight, love, admiration and resilience.”


Sébastien Jondeau recalls different episodes of his friendship with Lagerfeld in a non-chronological order, spanning over three decades. Notably, how he met Karl when he was a 15-year-old delivery boy, knowing nothing about fashion, and why Lagerfeld hired him as a driver first, then later as his personal assistant. With his cinematic memory, Jondeau takes us behind the scenes of Lagerfed’s Paris Rive Gauche residence and shares many anecdotes from how Lagerfeld convinced him to model in fashion campaigns to how they exercised together to keep fit.

In a 2015 interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Jondeau explained: “I’ve worked for Karl for more than 16 years, since I was 23, but I’ve known him since I was 15 My stepfather ran an 18th-century furniture business that I worked for sometimes, and Karl was a big collector. I was always asking Karl questions. He knows everything, and he was so much cooler than I was. I wasn’t stupid, but I was curious.”

Ça va, cher Karl? Is released in Europe January 27th (Flammarion, 19,99 euros). Meanwhile, you can check out some polaroid’s, which feature captions from the book on Jondeau’s Instagram here

Images | bentoub

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