An ex-Lagerfeld assistant has penned a revealing tome about the iconic designer who heads a namesake ready-to-wear line as well as Chanel. And it doesn’t look as though 37-year-old Arnaud Maillard is holding much back about the Kaiser. Titled Merci Karl!, the book, as Maillard puts it, intends to reveal “a different side” of Lagerfeld. Specifically, the side that “needs an eternity to get ready in the morning,” Maillard told Germany’s Spiegel. As for the distinct narcissism: “he takes photos of himself at every photo shoot and puts them everywhere. He surrounds himself with a kind of royal court, nobody disagrees with him.”
And Maillard doesn’t stop there. “He dumps people at the drop of a dime,” he adds (though this doesn’t come as much of a surprise for those who have seen Lagerfeld Confidential, where Lagerfeld himself readily admits to his fickle nature with regard to friends and associates). While Lagerfeld “can be very generous ... he can also be merciless. I’ve seen him simply stop talking to people, stop acknowledging their existence,” Maillard continues. Of Lagerfeld’s collaboration with H&M, which Maillard says his assistants worked on non-stop for three months, the Kaiser spent “two half-days ... on the drafts. Then he got millions from the Swedes.” As for his assistants: nada. Unfortunately, thus far Maillard’s book (which Lagerfeld unsuccessfully attempted to keep from being published) has only been released in France, with a recent subsequent launch in Germany. Here’s to hoping an English translation is already in the works.