The Jet Set Life of Karl Lagerfelds Favorite Male
One Sunday last spring, Brad Kroenig and his 5-year-old son, Hudson, showed up at a private airport near Paris to meet Karl Lagerfeld, the fashion designer. "Karl will be here 1, 1:30 for takeoff," announced a Frenchman in a black suit and tie. "O.K., cool," Brad said. The man in the suit performed something like a bow and retreated. It was 12:45. Brad sank into an armchair by the window and surveyed the tarmac. He pointed out a large gray hawk of a plane that stood off to the side of the slighter, dovelike jets. "Its the same one that Oprah has," Brad said. "Its the biggest one. It flies, like, the longest journey. A lot of private planes have to stop for gas."
Brad knows what kind of plane Lagerfeld travels on because he has flown on it often. As the most senior and prominent member of a group of male models often referred to as Karls Boys, Brad not only works for Chanel and Fendi, the fashion houses where Lagerfeld is the head designer, but also accompanies him on yearly vacations to St. Tropez and work trips and to parties worldwide. He has been photographed with Lagerfeld so often that gossip blogs have mistakenly identified him as the designers boyfriend, but their relationship is not romantic. Lagerfeld refers to Brad and the other models that travel with him as his family, albeit a self-selected, genetically ideal one. "I hate ugly people," Lagerfeld told me. "Very depressing."