Tucked in a fascinating recent story on Karl Lagerfeld’s model muse Brad Kroenig there was this intriguing comment from the designer about a long-lost sister. “I have no family at all, so it’s good to have, like, sons but without the unpleasant problems sons can create,” he told The New York Times of Kroenig and other favored models. “It’s a choice, it’s not an obligation. There’s a big difference. I have a sister in America who I haven’t seen for 40 years. Her children never even send me a Christmas card.”
The sister in question is 83-year-old Christiane Johnson, who lives in Connecticut after arriving in the U.S. as an au pair in the ’50s. She told the Daily Mail that the last time she saw Karl was when he paid her a visit in the ’70s, arriving in a stretch limousine that caused quite a stir in her small town. There’s definitely no ill will coming through her interview (she knows he’s a massively busy guy), and she was happy to remember what young Karl was like.
“As soon as he could hold a pencil, he would paint. He would love to find old pictures and paint on the other side of the canvas,” she said. “He liked to read, he was intelligent and thoughtful. He would be up in the attic painting while I was playing in the street. He was obviously artistic, but to me he was just a kid brother.”