Karl Lagerfeld had long rented a very special villa in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. He used this site, known as “La Vigie” specifically as a backdrop for his other, lesser-known passion: photography.

Overlooking the Mediterranean coastline, La Vigie stands proudly above the Monte Carlo Beach Hotel in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. A strategic location that earned “La Vigie” – The Look-Out in English. Constructed in 1902 by Sir William Ingram, an English lord established on the French Riviera, it was in this villa that Karl Lagerfeld stayed regularly between 1986 and 2000. Hovering just by the Principality, which he held so dear to his heart.

Extensive restoration

Acquired by the Société des Bains de Mer (SBM) in 1952, “La Vigie” was rented year-round to the famous couturier, who passed away February 19th in Paris. In return for a rather modest rental price, the Lagerfeld undertook extensive restoration work in the villa, ensuring that its 700m2 surface, exotic garden, and its lovely panoramic terrace overlooking the sea retained their neoclassical charm.

The artistic director of Channel also used the site to display his art collections, marked by the classicism so adored by this baroque and offbeat creative. He used this setting as a backdrop for his work as a photographer, his second passion after haute couture. Notably, the members of the Casiraghi family were photographed here several times.

Forced to sell his fabulous collections and return the house at the end of 2000, Karl Lagerfeld returned to live in Paris full-time. Nevertheless, his presence still permeates “La Vigie”, now a popular international hotel, prized both for its location and its unique history.

*Article originally published on the French edition of the Monaco Tribune.