After news broke that legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld died at the age of 85 in Paris, there were two questions on everyone’s mind. First, who is going to succeed the designer at Chanel, the Parisian maison he’s helmed for an age-defying 36-years? (the brand later confirmed that he will be succeeded by his “right hand” Virginie Viard); and secondly, what is going to happen to his beloved and extremely pampered cat, Choupette?
In a statement released to People magazine, the woman who runs Choupette’s social media accounts, Ashley Tschudin, said the cat is taking comfort from the kind words of supporters around the globe at this difficult time.
“During this time, Choupette is coping with the loss the best she knows how to, but at such a young age (and being a cat), that is challenging,” Tschudin said. “Karl Lagerfeld is and will always be her ‘Daddy’. She is choosing to put her best paw forward and hopes that her loyal fans and followers will continue with their outpouring of love to help ease the pain.”
It’s no secret that Lagerfeld adored his cat. In 2013, he famously indicated that he would marry her, if it were legal. Extremely spoiled, the red point Birman cat has two, around-the-clock maids, a personal bodyguard, and a private medical consultant with an office on Rue François 1er. Choupette is served her choice of two kinds of dry foods, chicken pâté or croquettes with turkey or fish sauce, off of three silver Goyard plates, and travels via private jet. Choupette, which means “sweetie” in French, also boasts over 100,000 followers on her Instagram, her very own blog, a book, and her very own beauty and fashion lines with the likes of Japanese beauty brand Shu Uemura, which launched The Shupette by Karl Lagerfeld collection featuring furry false lashes and “claw” nail polishes.
Before his death, Lagerfeld ensured that the cat will continue to be very well taken care of. In fact, the pet is to inherit a good chunk of the iconic designer’s US $273 million fortune. Speaking to Numero last April, Lagerfeld declared that Choupette would be the heir to his vast fortune “among others”.
“Don’t worry, there is enough for everyone,” he added.
When the interviewer reminded him that it was illegal to leave anything in your will to a pet, the German-born designer wittingly replied, “Well it’s lucky I’m not French then”.
Speaking to Vanity Fair, Lagerfeld stated: “Choupette is a rich girl. She has her own little fortune. If anything happens to me, the person who will take care of her will not be in poverty.” It’s reported that the cat herself has made almost US $5 million off of her makeup line and selling other products, including scented candles.
Choupette once belonged to French model Baptiste Giabiconi, but after two weeks of house-sitting her in 2011, Lagerfeld adopted the pet. “When he came back I thought, ‘I’m sorry, Choupette is mine,’” said the designer in an interview with CNBC.
Despite being one of the most iconic faces of the 20th and 21st centuries, Lagerfeld believed that his seven-year-old cat is more famous than him. “You know, personally, I don’t even think I’m that famous,” he told The Independant. “Now, Choupette really is famous. She has become the most famous cat in the world. I even get propositioned by pet food companies and things like that, but it’s out of the question. I’m commercial. She’s not. She’s spoiled to death. Obviously.”
The doting cat dad spoke very lovingly of his pet, describing her as “peaceful, funny, fun and gracious,” to Numero. “She’s pretty to look at and has good poise, but her main quality is that she doesn’t talk”.
While the world mourns the inimitable maestro, we can at least be at peace knowing that Choupette is going to be well loved and looked after for years to come.