Model and actress Elisa Sednaoui recounts how the late Karl Lagerfeld changed her career

Model and actress Elisa Sednaoui recounts how the late Karl Lagerfeld changed her career
The 33-year-old recently opened up about her relationship with the late Karl Lagerfeld. File/Getty Images
Short Url
Updated 14 August 2021
Follow

Model and actress Elisa Sednaoui recounts how the late Karl Lagerfeld changed her career

Model and actress Elisa Sednaoui recounts how the late Karl Lagerfeld changed her career

DUBAI: To be a muse of the late German designer Karl Lagerfeld was to be placed on one of fashion’s highest pedestals, a position occupied by the world’s most stylish women. Ines de la Fressange, Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne are just three of the beauties who inspired the Chanel designer’s creative vision.

Egyptian-Italian-French model and philanthropist Elisa Sednaoui also occasionally played muse to Lagerfeld, helping him bring whatever was on his mood board to life. In a recent Zoom interview with French journalist Laure Guilbault, Sednaoui recounts her first meeting with Lagerfeld and how it changed her life.

“That was another incredible experience and moment in my life,” the model said, speaking from her Italian home in a clip shared with her 145,000 Instagram followers. “I’m very grateful to Karl Lagerfeld and all of the House of Chanel because they really are like a family to me.”

She said that she met the Chanel team in 2010 during the French release of her film “Bus Palladium.”

“They received me in Gabrielle Chanel’s house and then they said we want you to meet Karl Lagerfeld,” the 33-year-old explained.

“I was living in New York at the time. There was a ballet in Monaco and that was the occasion I was supposed to meet him.”

“I’ll never forget, there was a storm that day in Paris. I landed in Paris and all the flights were being canceled. I remember being at the airport speaking with my mother, saying, ‘I just arrived, I’m about to do the meeting that will change my career forever– because that’s a meeting that changes your life forever, what should I do? Should I cancel? Should I go?’”

Fortunately, Sednaoui made it in time after the Chanel team sent a helicopter to transport her to Nice and she was able to meet him that night.

“The amazing thing about Karl, he was very, the word that comes to me for some reason is ‘entire’ but it’s not what I mean. He was very 100 percent,” she said of her first impression of him.

“He looked at me and said, ‘I would love to photograph you.’ Two weeks later, I was shooting with him the first Numero cover. It started a long and extensive relationship. We did the eyewear campaign, we did the Pirelli calendar,” recalls Sednaoui.

Indeed, she went on to become one of Lagerfeld’s favorite muses.

In addition to serving as the face for Chanel’s advertising campaigns, the model was a front-row fixture at the Parisian maison’s fashion shows and starred opposite French actor Pascal Greggory in Lagerfeld’s short film “Remember Now.”

“He was elegant and cultured,” she recalled of her friend, who died in Paris in February 2019 from complications with pancreatic cancer.

“My god, he was so funny and so unapologetically himself.”