IN THE BLOOD. Brad Kroenig describes what it is really like to be the muse of a legendary designer and having sons who follow in his footsteps
Outfit by Canali
Some people inspire others to achieve greatness; others inspire those who have already achieved greatness. American model Brad Kroenig is one of the latter.
As a longtime collaborator of designer and photographer Karl Lagerfeld, Kroenig is essentially one of his muses—a source of inspiration much like how a star athlete will inspire a top coach. It would seem, however, that Kroenig has been doing quite a bit of coaching himself, as his two sons—Hudson (who is Lagerfeld’s godson) and Jameson Karl Kroenig (guess where his middle name comes from)—are following in his footsteps. Hudson, in particular, has become a darling of the fashion world ever since he walked for the 2011 Chanel ready-to-wear fashion show in Paris, hand in hand with his father.
Of course, all of this simply serves to show just how good a model Kroenig really is. You don’t become one of “Karl’s boys” by luck and a major brand like Chanel wouldn’t have entertained the idea of having a toddler walk on one of its major runways if it didn’t have complete trust in the father. This is how “an inspiration” actually looks like.
DA MAN: Hi, Brad, great to have you with us. So, the big news this year is that you finally … joined Instagram. What prompted you to finally sign up?
Brad Kroenig: My sons, Hudson and Jameson, finally talked me into it! [Smiles]
DA MAN: Now, last time we checked, more than half of your posts are family pictures or photos of your two sons. How are they doing, by the way?
Brad Kroenig: They are good! They are both really well-rounded, great kids and I’m so proud of them.
DA MAN: Your son Hudson is also quite the fashion star. What’s it like sharing the same line of work with your son so early on?
Brad Kroenig: I think it’s great! Hudson loves to model, especially with Karl, who is his godfather. He has learned so much from all the travel and amazing experiences. He has a passion for it and really enjoys it, so I support it.
DA MAN: Any signs of his brother, Jameson, following in your footsteps as well?
Brad Kroenig: Yes! Jameson did the Chanel show in Rome, Tiffany’s Holiday Campaign and two Lands End shoots. He loves modeling, just like his brother and I. It must be in the blood. [Laughs]
Jacket and shirt by Coach, trousers by Canali
DA MAN: Have you ever been worried that your sons might be missing out on having a normal childhood?
Brad Kroenig: No, not at all. Globalization is the new way of life. He is just starting a little earlier and has learned so much. On a Tuesday, Hudson is walking on the Chanel runway and on Wednesday he is on the playground playing with his friends and doing all the “normal” things that seven-year-olds love to do.
DA MAN: Speaking of family, you’ve been working closely with Karl Lagerfeld for more than a decade. Can you tell us how you became his number one muse?
Brad Kroenig: I met Karl 13 years ago in Biarritz. We had an instant connection. One of the many great projects we have worked on together was an amazing book called “The Metamorphosis of an American.” We did photographs almost every week for five years shooting all over the world!
DA MAN: In your opinion, what does it take for a model to be noticed by the industry’s movers and shakers?
Brad Kroenig: Most importantly, you have to want to be a great model and love what you do. It shows in the photographs and on the runway. You have to have a lot of discipline and drive. It’s so important to take care of yourself. Keep up with a very healthy lifestyle and always be professional.
DA MAN: How important is it, as a model, to have a distinctive physical trait or a unique look? Would you say that you have one?
Brad Kroenig: I don’t think so. Look at all the top models over the years; there is a huge range of looks and traits! The fashion industry is always evolving and changing.
DA MAN: One last question: One of your more well-known habits is how you keep a running tally of miles traveled on the job. What’s the count now?
Brad Kroenig: 2.7 million.
To see more pictures from this shoot, get a copy of DA MAN Style Spring/Summer 2016 here.