EVERYTHING TO KNOW ABOUT KARL LAGERFELD’S IMPOSSIBLY CHIC CAT, CHOUPETTE
Source: Harpers Bazaar (Extract)
Posted: April 27, 2023
Brilliant German-born fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld was known for many things—among them, his designs for the world’s biggest fashion houses, his unique personal style, and his endearing relationship with his white Burmese cat, Choupette.
Through the years, Lagerfeld was often photographed cradling his furry muse with joy—and even made her an expected plus-one at high-fashion events.
The former Chanel creative director once told Numéro magazine of Choupette, “She’s peaceful, funny, fun, graceful, she’s pretty to look at, and she has a great gait—but her main quality is that she doesn’t speak. It was love at first sight.” Another time, he joked to CNN that if he could marry his cat, he would.
The artist sadly passed away on February 19, 2019, leaving behind his precious pet. But this year, the Met Gala will honor his legacy—and Choupette will join fellow celebrity guests in celebrating his life and career.
Ahead, read everything to know about the world’s most glamorous cat.
She was gifted to Karl.
Choupette was originally owned by French model Baptiste Giabiconi—one of Lagerfeld’s main muses—who named the Burmese after the French nickname for “cute girl,” the model revealed.
In 2011, the designer was asked to cat-sit for the holidays while Giabiconi took a visit to Marseille. Despite initial apprehensions about the pet’s fur, he acquiesced when Giabiconi assured him that cats “take care of themselves.” He ended up enjoying his time with Choupette so much that Giabiconi let him keep her.
Soon following the adoption, Choupette went viral, as V Magazine Editor-in-Chief (and Lagerfeld’s good friend) Stephen Gan, officially introduced her as Lagerfeld’s new cat on Twitter.
“My love for little furballs came to me quite late,” Lagerfeld told Numéro in an interview conducted in French in July 2016. “I had dogs before in my life, but that was when I lived in the countryside. In Paris, as in all big cities, it’s always a bit complicated. As you can imagine, I can no longer afford to walk a dog down the street without it bordering on a riot. And then a dog is far from clean and spotless, and when it rains, it smells of dead rats. I had two friends who owned a cat, and they always did loads of them in the overflowing kind of affection, so much so that I found it frankly ridiculous. Well, now I’m much worse.”
Indeed, Lagerfeld told CNN that he would marry the feline if it were legal. “There is no marriage, yet, for human beings and animals,” he said. “I never thought I would fall in love like this with a cat.”
She is celebrity-acquainted.
Thanks to her late legendary owner, Choupette has been in the presence of many influential figures over the years.
On April 26, Kim Kardashian shared several selfies on Instagram of her spending time with the feline in Lagerfeld’s office. “Had a date with @choupetteofficiel in Paris,” the shapewear mogul wrote. “We then spent some time at @karllagerfeld’s office to get a little inspiration for the Met.”
She is among the world’s most opulent cats.
The designer’s beloved Burmese has lived a lifestyle nearly as luxurious and chic as his, and following his death, she is rumored to inherit a portion of Lagerfeld’s €200 million net worth. Though, shockingly, that does not make her the richest cat in the world (Taylor Swift’s Scottish Fold, Olivia Benson, beats her with a reported worth of $97 million), she is certainly still amongst the wealthiest, and arguably the favorite within the fashion world.
Throughout her lifetime, the booked-and-busy feline has graced several magazine covers—including that of Harper’s Bazaar UK in 2013—and even had her own line of makeup and a book about her life.
She has traveled by private jet, alongside a handful of bodyguards, agents, chefs, and personal assistants. And she dined across from Lagerfeld every evening, during their time together, in the designer’s Paris apartment.
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Lagerfeld told Numéro in 2016, “Now that she is an adult, she eats at the table with me. She sits across from me and only eats what she needs to eat. Before, she used to attack a shrimp, but now she only touches her four different dishes that are prepared for her the same day, served in lovely bowls. Everything has to be fresh, otherwise Mademoiselle sits in front of her croquettes in sauce for three quarters of an hour, giving me murderous looks, without touching them.”
She still lives a lavish life in Paris.
The 11-year-old Burmese currently lives in Paris and is now owned by Lagerfeld’s former housekeeper, Françoise Caçot, who has since dropped her nanny role to care for the feline full-time.
Caçot currently runs the feline’s verified Instagram page—@choupetteofficiel—which has racked up 150K followers. The active account regularly features snapshots of Choupette in her day-to-day, plus throwback moments with Lagerfeld (many shot from the designer’s phone)—and captions meant to be first-person notes from “Choupette” capturing her point of view on anything and everything.
Just like how Lagerfeld would have wanted, Choupette continues to live a pampered lifestyle under her former nanny’s care. Courtesy of Caçot, the cat’s 11th birthday was celebrated last August on a private jet with balloons and champagne.
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