Cat-loving fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has died in Paris, aged 85. The unmarried style icon leaves behind the cat he once said he would marry if he could: a white Birman named Choupette.
By, 19 Feb 2019
Lagerfeld was a titan among his rare kind: an instantly-recognizable ‘superstar’ designer, he rejuvenated the Chanel brand in the 1980s. He has already received public tributes from the likes of Donatella Versace and Vogue Magazine. But concerned eyes will be gazing towards Choupette (7) – particularly since the pampered puss is notoriously melodramatic and anti-social. What will become of her now?
“Choupette belonged to a friend of mine who asked if my maid could take care of her for two weeks when he was away,” Lagerfeld told The Cut in 2015. “When he came back, he was told that Choupette would not return to him.”
So began the controversial love story between the man and his cat – a story that has today ended in heartbreak.
While Choupette and her man never officially tied the knot, they were as close as a cat-human couple can become. Choupette’s influence changed Lagerfeld in the way that only true love can.
“Maybe I became a better person perhaps,” he continued. “Less selfish, I guess? I think it’s grotesque, but what can you do? I believe in the unique.
“I never thought that I would fall in love like this with a cat.”
While Choupette’s next steps remain shrouded in secrecy, one thing’s for certain: her material comfort is assured.
Lagerfeld claimed her to be the most famous cat in the world, and she reputedly earned €3m (£2.62m) through just two modelling gigs in a single year. Choupette keeps two human maids at her service and flies via Lagerfeld’s private jet, where she is the only guest permitted to the cockpit.
“She is kind of Greta Garbo,” enthused Lagerfeld. “There is something unforgettable about her, the way she moves, the way she plays. She’s an inspiration for elegance.”
The white cat became the perfect mirror image for Lagerfeld’s black wardrobe, and a perfect expression for his particular brand of restrained bling. But like a left-hand glove without its designer right-hand companion, Choupette will only be faced with a sense of obsoleteness when she looks in the mirror now.
“There is no marriage, yet, for human beings and animals,” Vanity Fair reports Lagerfeld saying. We may never know the full workings of their bizarre relationship.
However, given that Choupette’s maids have already amassed hundreds of pages of notes on Choupette’s behaviour in Lagerfeld’s absence – written to reassure him that she was okay while he travelled – celebrity cat fans and dedicated followers of fashion will eagerly await the revelations of Choupette’s inevitable bestselling memoirs.