Karl Lagerfeld, we know by now, is something of a diva—a man The Daily Beast’s Robin Givhan described as a blend of “Madame de Pompadour hair with a Mick Jagger strut.” He sleeps in a custom-made white shirt and has his sheets changed daily; he gets exactly seven hours of sleep every night and has a breakfast of steamed apples and protein shakes every morning. So fierce is his addiction to Diet Coke, he claims that he drinks it “from the minute I get up to the minute I go to bed…I can even drink it in the middle of the night and I can sleep.”
The rare interviews Lagerfeld gives paint him as a man with rigid habits and streamlined behaviors; someone who lives in a kind of flawless fantasy world perfectly in step with the brand he designs, Chanel. And now the latest character in the saga is Choupette, a 9-month-old Siamese kitten upon whom he fastidiously dotes. In an interview with WWD, Lagerfeld details the kitten’s habits, which range from eating two meals a day next to her father to being attended by two maids and using an iPad. “She is like a kept woman,” he says, “She has a strong personality.”
The interview was technically to promote his traveling exhibition of photographs, The Little Black Jacket. But the Choupette news seemed to take center stage on Wednesday.
“Behind that sometimes tough exterior, the designer is a hardcore cat lover,” wrote ABC News’ Lauren Sher. “Oh no, there’s no tins of Whiskers and scratching poles for her,” mused Bibby Sowray of The Telegraph. Immediately, a Twitter feed crackled to life under the handle @ChoupettesDiary, where an anonymous user describes herself as “a famous beauty who refuses to eat on the floor & my maids pamper my every need. I am Choupette Lagerfeld and I am a spoiled pussy.” Immediately, “Choupette” had given an interview to the blog Fashionista, detailing life with her maids. A meme, believe it or not, has been born.
Here, the seven craziest facts about Choupette:
1. She is tech-savvy.In his interview with WWD, Lagerfeld paints Choupette as the Steve Jobs of the cat world, exclaiming that “she even knows how to use an iPad.” (He has tweeted photographic proof of the kitten pawing around the screen.)
2. When it comes to food, she is a model of self-restraint.Father and daughter take both lunch and dinner together, side by side, at the table. “She has lunch and dinner with me on the table, with her own food,” he says. “She doesn’t touch my food.”
3. She comes from humble beginnings.Lagerfeld explains that the kitten was a gift from his muse, the model Baptiste Giabiconi, who gave her to the designer to watch for Christmas while he was away. (Never mind the fact that someone asked Karl Lagerfeld to cat-sit.) “I refused to give her back,” says Karl. “I thought she was too cute.”
4. She has two “personal maids.”Who watch her frolic around the house day and night.
5. Every thing she does is recorded in a journal.“When I am not there, the maids take down, in little books, everything she did, from what she ate, to how she behaved, if she was tired, and if she wasn’t sleeping. In the nine months, we have almost 600 pages.”
6. She may one day become the subject of a real book.“Why not?” Lagerfeld says when asked if he’d ever write a book about her. “Colette had written a lot about cats. I am not Colette, but I think it could be funny to make a little book of Choupette’s diary.” Vogue’s Grace Coddington, for one, would be proud.
7. She will never wear clothes.“No, I don’t like animals in human clothes,” he says when asked if he’d ever dress her up. “I think that’s very circuslike.”