“I never thought that I would fall in love like this with a cat.”
—Karl Lagerfeld, as quoted by CNN’s Fashion Week: Backstage Pass, 2013
Fashion lost an icon this week in the passing of Karl Lagerfeld, the visionary designer who reinvented the Chanel brand. The cat world also lost one of its most ardent cat lovers. Karl Lagerfeld found inspiration and companionship in his Birman cat Choupette, whom he expressed a desire to marry.
A Christmas gift from a friend, Choupette came into his life in 2011. Soon, she had her own Twitter account with thousands of followers, and maids to take care of her every need and record her every move in a journal, so that Lagerfeld who travelled extensively would not miss any of her activities.
Choupette was the namesake for Lagerfeld’s signature Choupette capsule collection of bags and clothing featuring feline motifs. Lagerfeld’s great love for his elegant white cat can be seen in the heart-shaped eyes found on the graphic handbag above. When not serving as Lagerfeld’s muse, Choupette also worked as a highly compensated cat model. She remained his faithful companion until his death on Feb. 19th. My condolences to Choupette.
For more images of fashion inspired by cats, see our free Caticons mini-book at www.caticons.info.
Cat Face Dress, Nina Ricci (Paris, 1932-present), made in France, silk.
Black Belt with White Cats, Miu Miu (Milan, 1993-present), made in Italy, silk.
Cat Intarsia Knit Cardigan, MSGM (Milan, 2009-present), made in Italy, wool.
K/Choupette Love Crossbody Bag, Karl Lagerfeld (Paris, 1984-2019), made in China, pvc and leather, 6 3/4 inches wide.
Black and White Cat Shoes, Eugenia Kim (New York City, 1998-present), made in France, leather and patent leather.
Cat Ears Headband, “E,” Nordstrom, metal, crystal, and leather. Black and White Cat, Chinese, 20C, metal, 11 1/2 inches high