karl's boys

Everyone in the Times’ Brad Kroenig Profile Is Gloriously Nuts

Photo: Steve Eichner/? Corbis. All Rights Reserved.

Over the weekend, The New York Times Magazine had a fantastic profile of Brad Kroenig, Karl Lagerfeld’s muse since 2003. Kroenig had the single-minded ambition to model for Karl Lagerfeld and has, since then, dedicated his life and career to this goal. Through hard work and dedication to shaping his more commercial looks into something Chanel-worthy, Kroenig went from modeling for Abercrombie to a coveted position as one of “Karl’s Boys.” (Well, at least for now, the profile notes.) Since joining Karl’s Klan, Kroenig has modeled for Chanel and Fendi, travels regularly with Lagerfeld, and has become the subject of a four-volume book, Metamorphoses of an American. In 2008, he and his wife, Nicole, had Lagerfeld’s godson, the now 6-year-old Hudson Kroenig, who has walked many a Chanel runway. 

Everyone in this story seems a little bit batshit. It’s great. Naturally, Lagerfeld, who says things like “I hate ugly people,” doesn’t let Hudson sleep in the bed on their private plane. (“You sleep on your seat, darling … I have to arrive fresh, you don’t have to. Don’t be selfish.”) Note: Lagerfeld later slept sitting upright.

In order to serve Herr Karl, Kroenig, who is described as a “golden retriever,” has to suffer through things like low-carb, high-protein diets. He can’t play softball with the other dads (they call him “Zoolander’), and he has amassed Goyard trunks “filled with years’ worth of [his] fax correspondence with Lagerfeld.” He was once body-checked by Lagerfeld’s security guard for drinking coffee just a little too klose to Karl’s white jacket. (Kroenig’s wife, Nicole, for her part, makes sure her husband massages his scalp to promote hair growth and has to endure fellow soccer moms’ ogling her husband’s goodies on Google.)

Hudson — who is currently learning French at the request of Karl — seems to be the only one handling this peculiar life with any sort of sanity. When, for example, the American model Jamie Bochert asked, “’When did you get so tall?’ … Hudson told her to smell his shoe.”

What It’s Like to Be One of ‘Karl’s Boys’