Saturday, February 24, 2024

Rolling With Karl Lagerfeld

Three Rolls-Royces that belonged to the late designer Karl Lagerfeld to be auctioned by Sotheby’s; the eccentric never drove them himself

“When I was four, I asked my mother for a valet for my birthday” reportedly once said Karl Lagerfeld and after having suffered “two terrible accidents” in his youth that “made [him] fearful of going behind the wheel,” the designer spent the majority of his days on the road being driven around in luxurious limousines when not flying around the world on private jets.


Now, in the wake of the death of this eccentric head honcho of his own label and creative director of both Chanel and Fendi in February 2019, three of his motors are set to be sold next month in Monaco by Sotheby’s.


Listed alongside a 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom and a 2019 Cullinan is Lagerfeld’s supposed favourite vehicle, his silver metallic 2017 Phantom drophead coupé.


Featuring a cream leather interior with ‘RR’ monograms on the headrests, antagonistic doors and yacht-like woodwork, the vehicle – which the auctioneers described as having cost over £375,000 when new – is offered with an estimate of £297,000 to £339,000, but will likely sell for a far higher sum given its provenance.


Of the drophead coupé, Pierre Mothes of Sotheby’s remarked: “It was his favourite vehicle, especially during spring and summer. He loved it as an open car,” whilst his longtime personal assistant Sébastien Jondeau’s stories about the vehicles were shared in early 2021.


According to a website named happy Lifestyle inc: “More touching encounters also occurred in cars. When Lagerfeld was weakened by cancer treatments, his appetite lagging, Jondeau would ferry him in the Rolls-Royce Phantom 8 to his favorite pizzeria, and once said, ‘Let’s try McDonald’s,’ and the designer downed two cheeseburgers before they arrived back at Lagerfeld’s home. ‘This pleased me so much,’ [Jondeau] writes.”


Karl Lagerfeld Sebastian Jondeau
The now deceased designer being driven in the Phantom to be sold by Sotheby’s by his longstanding bodyguard and personal assistant Sébastien Jondeau.
Rolls-Royce 1
Mr Lagerfeld pictured getting out of the Phantom to be offered.
Rolls-Royce exhibition
In November 2012, the designer, whom was also a passionate snapper, visited the home of his favoured car brand at Goodwood in West Sussex to unveil a collection of his photographs of his favourite cars. At the time, he commented: “I can no longer view life without juxtaposing its abstraction. I view the world, fashion and automobiles through my camera lens. That allows me to keep a critical distance to my work. This approach serves me more than I ever thought possible in view of reality. Each of my shots of the Rolls-Royce is the abstract representation of a concrete reality. The technical medium of photography is a welcome means for my artistic work, creating my different view.” The event was compered by Peter York, the legendary co-author of ‘The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook.’

For auction through Sotheby’s in Monaco, 3rd to 5th December 2021 – Karl Lagerfeld’s cars

All described as being “in need of technical inspections.”


2017 Phantom drophead coupé, silver metallic

2017 Rolls-Royce Phantom drophead coup, silver metallic 1
2017 Rolls-Royce Phantom drophead coup, silver metallic 2

Estimate: £297,000 to £339,000 ($396,000 to $453,000, €350,000 to €400,000 or درهم1.5 million to درهم1.7 million).

Mileage: 6,617 miles (10,649 kilometres).


2018 Phantom, black diamond metallic

2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom, black diamond metallic 1
2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom, black diamond metallic 2

Estimate: £255,000 to £297,000 ($340,000 to $396,000, €300,000 to €350,000 or درهم1.2 million to درهم1.5 million).

Mileage: 1,414 miles (2,277 kilometres).


2019 Cullinan, tungsten metallic

2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan, tungsten metallic 1
2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan, tungsten metallic 2

Estimate: £255,000 to £297,000 ($340,000 to $396,000, €300,000 to €350,000 or درهم1.2 million to درهم1.5 million).

Mileage: 4,631 miles (7,453 kilometres).


In 2010, Lagerfeld “starred” in an advertisement for Volkswagen. Of this ‘Gawker’s’ Brian Moylan mocked: “We’re not quite sure what Karl is saying (probably something along the lines of, ‘I would never be so tacky as to drive a car. That’s what the servants are for. Especially in Paris’).”
Matthew Steeples
Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.


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