NEW YORK (AP) — The late Karl Lagerfeld’s fluffy pampered cat, Choupette, is a star in her own right — and still very much alive. So, naturally, there was much chatter about whether the fashion designer’s muse would attend Monday’s Met Gala honoring him — but the cat took to Instagram to dispel rumors that she would be escorted up the stairs in New York.
“Many people invited me to walk the red carpet of the #METGALA2023 in tribute to Daddy, but we preferred to stay peacefully & cozy at home,” the Choupette Lagerfeld account said in an Instagram post on Monday. “We pay tribute to my Daddy every day since his parting and we are very moved to see one more day dedicated to him.”
(Choupette is represented by a pet marketing agency, which likely penned the post on her behalf.)
The white Birmin with stunning blue eyes and creamy markings akin to baked Alaska was born Aug. 15, 2011. At 10 weeks or so, she was given to Baptiste Giabiconi, one of Lagerfeld’s model friends in Paris.
It was Giabiconi who named her Choupette, a nickname in French for “cute girls.” Giabiconi asked Lagerfeld to care for the cat for two weeks while he was on holiday. As Lagerfeld described to New York magazine in 2018: “When he came back, I told him that the cat was not returning to his house, and I kept it, this kind of genius creature.”
The besotted Lagerfeld quickly turned Choupette into an international star with her own maids, bodyguards, custom Louis Vuitton carriers, silver bowls and a jet-set lifestyle. She also had her own jewels and nannies. Her most prominent caretaker was Françoise Caçote, to whom Lagerfeld left Choupette.
Choupette, literally “sweetie,” traveled often with Lagerfeld, who died in 2019, on the private jets he favored.
Lagerfeld told the magazine Numéro that Choupette, now 11, dined with him at the table, eating only freshly prepared meals. She was brushed four times a day, appeared on magazine covers with Lagerfeld and has her own Instagram account.
Lagerfeld, fond of shooting photos of his beloved, published a book of her images and used her as muse for some of his collections. He created clothes in “Choupette blue” for Chanel and put out a line of handbags with the cat’s face on them for his own eponymous brand.
Choupette was a big earner, in the millions, appearing in photo shoots and advertising campaigns for Chanel, the German carmaker Opel and the Japanese cosmetics brand Shu Eumera.
“I think Choupette made me a better person,” Lagerfeld told the Scottish author Andrew O’Hagan in 2015. “Less selfish.”
Lagerfeld was fond of referring to Choupette as the “Garbo of cats.” And he had a handful of women in his life he lovingly referred to as “my choupettes,” including Vanessa Paradis and her daughter with Johnny Depp, Lily-Rose.
In June 2021, Caçote told Lagerfeld biographer William Middleton that Choupette was doing well living with her in Paris:
“She is happy. And I tell myself that if Monsieur sees us from above, that he can be happy because this is just what he wanted for Choupette.”
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