The out-of-state cars and RVs that showed up outside an 1840s brick home on the shores of Lake Champlain fueled rumors that had been swirling for weeks in Grand Isle.
People in the quiet town of 2,000 had heard a celebrity bought the house last month, and those rumors were confirmed when, cutting through the heavy rain, we could spot the trademark white ponytail, fingerless gloves, and suit of Karl Lagerfeld.
It's hardly weather for sunglasses, but those too are part of the uniform of this fashion icon who's famous for both his own clothing lines and his work as artistic director of Chanel. Fashion magazines have quoted Lagerfeld as saying he was drawn to the property for its lake views. They also report he's here for a Chanel photo shoot.
The restaurant hired to cater that shoot says Lagerfeld has been kind and gracious. Mandy Hotchkiss, owner of the Blue Paddle Bistro in South Hero, explains, "We're absolutely thrilled. It's the first time we've ever done something like this. And it's been quite an experience."
Neighbors tell us work began on the property less than a week ago, but this is the first time they've seen Lagerfeld himself in Vermont.
Loomis Bean lives next door. He says, "It's excitement for up here. If we're not duck hunting or fishing, this is exciting."
Lagerfeld criss-crosses the globe working on runways in Paris and New York. But Vermont? The place where folks are most comfortable in flannel and Birkenstocks? When asked if he would try out for a job as a fashion model, Loomis Bean chuckles, "No, I don't think that would be good!"
No close-ups for him, but he's glad to welcome his new neighbor, who appears poised to put this tiny town on the fashion map.
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