Sebastien Jondeau has been Karl Lagerfeld’s personal assistant for over 20 years. For Fall-Winter 2018, he has curated his first collection of menswear essentials, inspired by his own wardrobe. The collection reflects the diverse elements of his life and adventures with Karl Lagerfeld; together they have travelled the world, met countless fashion insiders, and attended the most esteemed red carpet events.
Reflecting Sebastien’s need for wardrobe versatility, the collection is divided into three core categories. The first is inspired by his love of sports — in particular motorcross — with graphics featuring the “SJ” initials and his birth year, 1975. Key styles include premium sweats, a leather bomber jacket, a puffer vest, an ‘80s-style jean jacket and graphic tees.
The second category is made for on-the-go days with Karl Lagerfeld, when Sebastien opts for polished pieces like luxury knits, sharp shirting and versatile trousers. His statement outerwear offering includes a wool peacoat, shearling lambskin jacket, varsity jacket and technical parka.
Finally, for sophisticated evening events, the collection includes a range of three-piece suits and tuxedos. Each is embellished with unique finishing touches like hoods or grosgrain stripes. Accessories include ties, bags, a sneaker, bowties and a cashmere beanie.
The result is a true reflection of Sebastien’s world — his personality, mentality and passions, combined with elements from his day-to-day lifestyle.
Q&A WITH SEBASTIEN JONDEAU
How did you first meet Karl Lagerfeld?
I grew up in a suburb of Paris, in a rough neighbourhood, and I didn’t know anything about fashion. When I was 15, during school holidays I worked at a family-owned art moving company. Karl was a frequent client, so that was how I first met him, and we got to know each other a bit. One day, I asked whether he might need someone like me as his bodyguard, assistant or driver; I told him I’d love to do it, and soon after that I was hired.
How do you describe your role for Karl?
A bit of everything! At first I was his bodyguard, but it evolved and I became more of a private assistant. Though I am still first and foremost his bodyguard, and I take care of him wherever we go. I also oversee the people who work closely with Karl, like the staff in his home, and I organise many things for him. It’s a lot of work!
How did the idea of this capsule collection come about?
It was Karl’s idea! Sometimes when we’re driving in the car we talk about collections. One day, a long time ago, I gave him my opinion and he said, “You should do a collection!” I said, “Maybe one day.” Then more recently the idea came up again, and I said, “Woah, I would love it do it!”
What was your inspiration for these designs?
I find inspiration in my closet, on the street, and in people around me. We looked at how I dress — I can be casual, sporty or dressed-up in a suit — and we designed clothes that I love.
What is your biggest highlight of making this collection?
The best part was working with the KARL LAGERFELD team. There were a lot of people who helped bring this collection to life. I couldn’t have done it by myself.