Karl Lagerfeld’s cat, Choupette, going to the Met Gala?
Had Choupette deigned to attend the Met Gala, she would have joined many other impeccably groomed guests with elite pedigrees. But she might be the only one who needed a litter box.
Choupette, the Birman cat who once belonged to Karl Lagerfeld, lived a decadent life at the designer’s side. She flew privately. She had an iPad. According to Mr. Lagerfeld, she took her meals from three Goyard bowls: “one for water, one for her little kibble, and one for her pie.”
Since Mr. Lagerfeld’s death, Choupette has remained an obsession for fans and fashion insiders alike, becoming something of a four-legged embodiment of the designer’s legacy. In Vogue’s latest tribute to Mr. Lagerfeld, she lounged over the arm of a windswept Naomi Campbell.
According to her agent Lucas Bérullier, she received an invitation to the Met Gala to celebrate her one-time owner. (Like everyone in the fashion industry, Choupette has an entourage.) But on Monday, she officially sent her regrets.
“Many people invited me to walk the red carpet at #METGALA2023 in honor of Daddy, but we preferred to stay peaceful and cozy at home,” said Instagram account @choupetteofficiel. “We have paid tribute to my daddy every day since he left and we are so touched that another day is dedicated to him.”
Born on August 15, 2011, Choupette was initially owned by Baptiste Giabiconi, a French model and Mr. Lagerfeld’s muse. Mr. Lagerfeld developed a deep affection for Birmans while babysitting cats that Christmas. “When he came back I told him the cat wasn’t going back to his house and I kept it, that kind of genius creature,” Mr. Lagerfeld told The Cut in 2018.
He raved about her relentlessly. Choupette stayed in his suite at the Mercer and was flown to New York City and St. Tropez, sometimes with permission to move around the plane, according to Paradise Now, William Middleton’s biography of Mr. Lagerfeld.
“He was so extreme in every single thing he did,” Fran Lebowitz told Mr. Middleton. “So if he wants a cat, he will have a cat with a diamond necklace.”
Although Choupette didn’t have the leggy frame of many cover stars, she has hosted international editions of Vogue alongside Linda Evangelista and Gisele Bundchen. But she did not turn up her nose at commercial work, appeared in campaigns for Opel automobiles and, of course, Chanel.
“She’s a famous beauty,” Mr. Lagerfeld told Women’s Wear Daily in 2012. Choupette is the creamy shade of one of Mr. Lagerfeld’s couture bridal looks for Chanel, with an oatmeal patch of fur gently splashing across her face. It is believed that her eyes were the inspiration for a shade of blue in Mr. Lagerfeld’s Chanel collections.
In addition to the questions her upscale lifestyle raised at a time when many were struggling financially, she was often the subject of gossip headlines. “Karl Lagerfeld would marry his cat, Choupette, if it were legal,” Vanity Fair explained in 2013. (Mr. Lagerfeld had confessed his love for Choupette in a recent CNN interview and lamented that human-animal marriage was not an option .)
After Mr. Lagerfeld’s death in 2019, rumors circulated that Choupette could become his heir. Bloomberg ran a story about the French and German laws that would prevent a pet from inheriting millions. “Lagerfeld’s cat won’t get its paws off his fortune,” the headline concluded.
In recent years, Choupette has been living in Paris with her nanny, Françoise Caçote, a former housekeeper to Mr. Lagerfeld. She posed next to a bottle of champagne on her 11th birthday, gazing out the window of a grounded jet.
Ashley Tschudin, who runs Choupette’s Diary fan pages on Instagram Twitter, said fans appreciated living vicariously through images of the spoiled pet. Your participation in the party of the year would be no exception.
“This cat lives a better life than most people,” Ms. Tschudin said.