>> Merci Karl, a tell-all book by former Lagerfeld assistant Arnaud Maillard, made waves two years ago when it first came out in France. The book has just been released in German, and Maillard, who led the Lagerfeld Gallery Studio for five years, reiterates in a new interview with Speigel something we all knew: Karl is self-involved. "He's an unbelievable narcissist. He needs an eternity to get ready in the morning. He takes photos of himself at every photo shoot and puts them everywhere."
Just as described in The Beautiful Fall, the author of which Lagerfeld sued, Maillard says Karl "dumps people at the drop of a dime."
He surrounds himself with a kind of royal court, nobody disagrees with him . . . He can also be merciless. I've seen him simply stop talking to people, stop acknowledging their existence. In the fashion industry, nobody raises their voice; they say the worst things in a very polite tone.
The tradeoffs of working for Karl . . . »
Karl likes to be pampered — he uses the world's most expensive body cream from La Prairie twice a day — even between his toes.
Wherever he goes, there is Pepsi-Cola in a Baccarat crystal glass waiting for him and it gets replaced every 30 minutes. It's like the 18th century.
Working for Lagerfeld comes with tradeoffs.
Lagerfeld employees have to be available 24 hours a day. He can be very generous. When I was looking for my first apartment in Paris, he discreetly slipped me an envelope that made it possible to afford.
Karl only spent a day designing his H&M collection.
Yes, I still remember how Karl sent me the first sketches for the H&M collection under extreme time pressure. Our team worked day and night for three months on the collection, but never saw any extra pay. I can remember well the two half-days that Karl worked on the drafts. Then he got millions from the Swedes.
And he doesn't like people talking about his alleged tax debt.
At first, he made fun of the fact that I was writing a book. Later, he tried to prevent certain passages from being published — for example, the chapter about his tax debt. My publisher refused and since then he has acted as if he never read it.