The history of Karl Lagerfeld and La Vigie

karl lagerfeld la vigie

Did you know that Karl Lagerfeld’s beloved home La Vigie, neighbouring Monaco, was actually a gift to him by Prince Rainer III in exchange for a promise to be fulfilled? 

The works of legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld were the theme of this year’s storied Met Gala, showing his legacy lives on in people’s hearts and minds.  

Many people know that the Chanel frontman spent a full decade of his life in a Belle Epoque mansion in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, on the border of Monaco, built by Sir William Ingram in 1902 called La Vigie. What most may not know was that it was gifted, not purchased, to him on the promise that he would return it to its former glory. 


In 1986, Lagerfeld saw and fell in love with the beautiful, but fading, beauty of La Vigie. He already had close ties with the Princely family – Princess Caroline was one of his muses – and when it became known that he was enamoured of the house, Prince Rainier III made the decision to gift it to him on the condition that he would renovate it extensively. 

True to his word, Lagerfeld poured an estimated €12.7 million into La Vigie, not only restoring it, but filling it with gorgeous objets d’art, sumptuous furnishings, rich fabrics and incredible art.  

The 600 square metre three-storey villa boasts six bedrooms, four bathrooms and two dressing rooms as well as a billiard room and a library. There is also a terrace of 237 square metres that offers unparalleled sea views, adjoining the garden that houses an outdoor jacuzzi.  

karl lagerfeld la vigie
It’s not hard to see why La Vigie captured Karl Lagerfeld’s imagination. Photo courtesy of SBM


After his death in 2019, Sotheby’s France was asked to auction off the contents of three of his residences, including La Vigie.  

More than 1,000 bidders registered for the sale, which took place in December 2021. At that auction, nearly 600 objects, including original illustrations, personal effects, mid-century décor and artworks by Takashi Murakami and Jeff Koons, brought in just over €12 million. It had been estimated to meet €3 million. 

Today the villa is used by SBM as a venue for intimate private events. 

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Karl Lagerfeld fans battle it out in “explosive” Monaco auction


All photos courtesy of SBM

SBM shake-up: Julien Munoz appointed Marketing and Digital Director

The reorganisation of the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer management continues, with Julien Munoz coming in as the new marketing and digital director.

As part of the group’s reorganisation strategy implemented by the new CEO Stéphane Valeri, Julien Munoz took up his duties on Tuesday 2nd May. Munoz has extensive experience at Disneyland Paris, where he was director of operations in 2005, before moving on to the position of director of sales and marketing.

Based in Dubai since 2016, he led the sales and marketing strategy of the Dubai Parks and Resort amusement park. In 2017, he joined the Etisalat Digital group, the commercial brand of the incumbent telecommunications operator in the United Arab Emirates, as director of digital strategy projects for Dubai Expo 2020. Since 2020, he has held the position of director sales and marketing for the European, Middle East and African markets within the Radisson Group.

“Julien Munoz’s mission is to pursue and develop a marketing and digital strategy that will strengthen the SBM Group’s ambitions both internationally and in the Principality,” said SBM in a statement Wednesday.


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Photo source: SBM

Princess Grace Irish Library launches collaboration with NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House

The Princess Grace Irish Library and Glucksman Ireland House at New York University are embarking on a “joint literary odyssey”, starting with a lecture by a former Irish ambassador to the USA.

The Princess Grace Irish Library (PGIL) and New York University’s (NYU) Glucksman Ireland House have long shared similar visions, but it has only been recently that the two decided to join forces for what will become an annual event.

The two entities are embarking on a yearly lecture series, which will commence with the former Irish Ambassador to the USA, Daniel Mulhall, who was also a professor of Irish Studies at NYU, with the idea that they will be able to foster other synergistic collaborations.  

“We’re delighted with this collaborative venture,” says Paula Farquharson, the director of the PGIL. “It’s a natural step as Glucksman Ireland House is New York University’s centre for the study of Ireland and the Irish diaspora, renowned for its dynamic programming and research initiatives, while the Princess Grace Irish Library is a centre of literary excellence since 1984 and a hub for the Irish community in this part of Europe.” 

She adds, “This initiative allows us to deepen our connection with Irish Americans and develop our links with key writers and academics from Glucksman Ireland House. Our shared goal is to foster an appreciation of Ireland’s literature and history, which includes two exceptional women, Princess Grace of Monaco (née Kelly) and Loretta Brennan Glucksman, who serves as Chairman of the Advisory Board of Glucksman Ireland House NYU, which she endowed with her late husband, Lewis.” 


Mulhall is coming to the Princess Grace Irish Library’s 2023 cultural forum on 10th May to speak on the theme of Irish-American influence on literature, music and culture with a talk entitled “Around the World with W.B. Yeats and James Joyce: A Diplomatic Odyssey.” 

His recently published book Ulysses: A Reader’s Odyssey (2022), which came about for the 100th anniversary of the release of the James Joyce sensation, will be the centerpiece for the lecture. 

The book has garnered much attention in intellectual as well as literary circles and was lauded by Ted Smyth, the president of the Advisory Board of Glucksman Ireland House and a former diplomat, who says, “Mulhall’s deployment of Joyce and Yeats around the world is a masterly example of exercising ‘soft power’ on behalf of Ireland. Ireland might not have a large security force, but it does have an army of fabulous writers, poets, musicians, and artists who, with our talented diplomats, enable Ireland to punch above its weight in the international arena.”  


Read more:

Daniel Mulhall goes “Around the World” with Yeats and Joyce


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Photo of the Princess Grace Irish Library via Facebook

Basketball: Monaco one win away from Euroleague final four

AS Monaco v Maccabi Tel Aviv

AS Monaco Basketball are just one win away from reaching the Euroleague final four for the first time in the club’s history after Tuesday’s victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv (78-83). 

The Roca Team’s welcome in Israel wasn’t expected to be a friendly one, and it wasn’t. On their way to the arena, the team’s bus was blocked and battered by the fervent home supporters, who greeted the players with deafening jeers and boos.

For Mike James (21 points, four assists), it was simply fuel for the engine. Monaco’s point guard drew a dazzling display out of the fire when his team needed it most.

“This pressure, this hostility, it doesn’t disturb me. All this hate that I’m targeted by, I see it as recognition, a type of respect. I was ready to play regardless,” said James.

Monaco on the brink of making history

Despite drawing level for periods of the first half, Maccabi were behind for practically the entirety of this third match, thanks to another impressive collective display in which the Roca Team lost possession only five times.

Despite some efficient three-point finishing at the death, Maccabi were never in striking distance, and have now seen their lead overturned thanks to Tuesday night’s defeat (78-83).

“We weren’t ready for the first game, but now we are. The cohesion that we’re showing on the court means we deserve our 2-1 lead. We have to continue with this character, this mentality, and the state of mind will once again be decisive in the fourth game,” said Obradovic.

Should Monaco win Thursday’s match in Israel, they will become the first team from the French championship to reach the final four since 1997. However, should they fail, they will have one final chance to pull off the feat, in front of their home fans at the Salle Gaston Médecin next week.


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Photo by AS Monaco Basket

Nutrition: The fruit dilemma – whole fruits vs. fruit juice

Fruits are a crucial part of a healthy diet, and most people know that eating a variety of them can offer several health benefits. However, there are significant differences between consuming whole fruits and drinking fruit juices. Let’s dive deeper into the advantages and drawbacks of each option.


Whole fruits contain fibres, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that play a critical role in maintaining a healthy body. Fibres in fruits promote satiety and help regulate blood sugar levels while also supporting digestive health.

Vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium are crucial for a strong immune system, healthy skin, and strong bones. Additionally, antioxidants help reduce inflammation, which can prevent chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. Eating a variety of whole fruits ensures that you get a wide range of nutrients, supporting overall health and wellbeing.

However, there are some downsides to consider when it comes to whole fruits. Firstly, they require proper storage to stay fresh and can take up a lot of space. Secondly, they may not always be available or affordable in certain countries or regions, depending on the season. Lastly, some people may experience digestive discomfort when consuming whole fruits, especially those with high fibre content.


Fruit juices are extracted from fruits and can have added sugars to enhance their flavour. While they may contain some of the vitamins and minerals present in whole fruits, they often lack the fibre content and the nutrients present in the pulp or skin. As a result, consuming fruit juices can cause spikes in blood sugar levels, leading to a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Additionally, fruit juice can contribute to weight gain due to its high sugar content.

It’s important to note that not all fruit juices are equal. If you choose to consume some, it is best to opt for those that are 100% fruit juice without added sugars. These juices will provide you with some of the vitamins and minerals found in whole fruit.


If you are looking to increase your fruit intake, it is best to consume whole fruits rather than fruit juices. Consuming a variety of whole fruits ensures that you are getting all the nutrients that fruits have to offer. Additionally, whole fruits are more filling and can help you feel satisfied for longer, preventing overeating.

However, if you are a big sugary soda drinker, swapping for fruit juices can be beneficial for your health. If you do choose to consume fruit juices, be sure to read the label carefully to ensure that it is 100% fruit juice without added sugars. Limit your consumption of fruit juice to a small glass per day, and try to pair it with a source of protein or healthy fat to help slow down the rate at which your body absorbs sugar.


Incorporating more whole fruits into your diet can be a great way to improve your health and well-being. They are a convenient, portable, and delicious snack that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.

However, if you find it challenging to consume whole fruits regularly, consider trying different types of fruits, experimenting with different preparation methods, or adding them to smoothies or salads. You can enjoy both whole fruits and fruit juices, the choice ultimately depends on your dietary needs, taste and preferences, and overall health goals. Seeking guidance from a nutritionist can be beneficial in creating a balanced and sustainable eating plan.



Nutrition: Plant-based diet – the essential tips


Tristan Boetti is a sports nutritionist. Through his company Performance & Bien-Être Monaco, he works with professional athletes as well as recreationally active individuals to help them achieve their goals through customised nutrition plans and expert advice.



Monaco International Dog Show: four paws at the ready

monaco international dog show

Fluffed and flawless pooches of all breeds will be taking over the Chapiteau de Fontvieille for the Monaco International Dog Show this weekend. 

The Monaco International Dog Show has been a staple of the spring show circuit in the Principality since 1927, when it was founded by Monaco’s Princess Charlotte.


Organised by the Société Canine de Monaco – the Monaco Kennel Club – the two-day event will see 1,180 dogs of 210 breeds from 26 countries competing in front of an international jury made up of experts from Spain, Finland, France, Britain, Ireland, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands and Serbia.

In addition to the regular competition events, the show will include several special trials for puppies, young dogs and veterans canines, as well as a category for junior handlers.

The judges will hand out prizes to each group at the end of each day, with the grand prize for Best in Show being announced at 6pm on Sunday 7th May.


The event will be chaired by Mélanie-Antoinette de Massy, the daughter of the late Baroness Elizabeth-Ann de Massy and a cousin of Prince Albert II. The Baroness held the post from 2011 until her death in 2020, and now Mélanie-Antoinette is taking up the mantle.

The Monaco International Dog Show will be held on 6th and 7th May. Entry is €12 for adults and free for children under 12. There will be food and drink on site. For more information, click here.


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Photo source: L Russ on Pixabay