Karl Lagerfeld’s final Chanel collection, designed shortly before his death, brought tears to the eyes of editors and models at the brand's winter wonderland AW19 show. While the industry bid farewell to the legendary designer in a fitting tribute, one mourner may feel his loss more than most.
Choupette, Karl’s Insta-famous feline friend garnered iconic status as the purrrfect muse. A fashion aristo-cat in her own right, this pampered pussy boasts her own bodyguard, personal chef and two maids, and catnaps in discarded Chanel attire.
Yet she didn’t always belong to Karl. The story goes that Baptiste Giabiconi, former Choupette owner and Chanel model, asked Karl to cat-sit his kitty while he was away. It was love at first sight: When Baptiste returned, Karl declared: "Sorry, but I’m keeping her!"
Gazing into Choupette’s bright blue eyes, he was inspired to design an entire haute couture collection. Choupette, returning Karl’s adoring looks, mewed sweet nothings about him on Instagram, Twitter and blogposts.
Featuring catty commentary and sassy snaps, Choupette's Diary has garnered 302k Instagram followers alone. Yet neither Karl nor the House of Chanel is the voice behind this internet glamour puss. No, Choupette’s Diary is the brainchild of New York-based Ashley Tschudin.
Although Karl is said to have recommended the blog’s humour to friends, Ashley is the sole creator of Choupette’s princess personality. With the feline's future uncertain, we caught up with Ashley to discover how the world-famous pussycat will put her best paw forward without "Daddy".
Hi Ashley. What inspired you to create the account originally?
I was inspired by the fact that Choupette has two maids and flew on a private jet and how most humans can only dream of that type of lifestyle.
How much of your time do you dedicate to it?
My full-time job is as a digital marketing consultant for the fashion, beauty and lifestyle industries. Choupette's Diary was always my "pet" project. Now, with Lagerfeld's passing, Choupette's Diary is taking up more of my time.
We’re sorry for Choupette’s loss. How long will she be in mourning?
Will Choupette remain loyal to Karl? Perhaps she might rekindle old flames with previous owner, Baptiste?
Talk about juicy! While that would make for a good tabloid headline, nobody will ever replace her daddy as her one true love.
Now she’s a lone ranger, does she have feline friends to help her through dark times?
The outpouring of love and support from fellow pets on social media warms Choupette's (cold) heart.
Will Choupette go to cat counselling to help her get over her loss?
That seemed like a funny question until I was contacted by pet therapists recently, warning me (well, Choupette) about pet depression. It's a real thing!
Karl famously loved Diet Coke. Will Choupette drink it in his memory? Does she have it in her to betray him by developing a taste for Pepsi?
It’s clear Choupette is living her best life. With nine lives, does she worry that her other eight won’t be as fabulous?
Why can't all her lives be her best lives?
She's set to inherit a considerable fortune. Now she is officially a lady of leisure, how will she spend her time?
It actually isn't official yet so she is still hard at work until that day comes. By 'hard at work' I do mean cocktails and catnaps.
How woke is she? Karl famously said in 2013: "There is no marriage, yet, for human beings and animals... I never thought I would fall in love like this with a cat." Does Choupette want to campaign for feline-human marriages in her daddy’s honour?
She is woke AF but that might just be a wee bit far, even for her liberal personality.
Her daddy Karl once said that "Sweatpants are a sign of defeat" but Choupette is a key advocate for catnapping. Would she ever descend into full laziness and start wearing sweatpants?
There is a very fine line between catnapping for beauty rest and being lazy. Catnapping is purely for anti-ageing benefits and not out of being lackadaisical.
Is she most comfortable in front of the camera, or will she want a more paws-on position following daddy Karl as a designer?
The whole paw thing makes sketching incredibly difficult, sadly. For now, she will remain as a muse.