A Year In the Life of Choupette: The Risks and Rewards of Being Karl Lagerfeld's Muse of the Moment

Karl Lagerfeld's kitten Choupette celebrated her first birthday today and boy, what a year it has been. That diary must be 1,000 pages by now. The w
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Karl Lagerfeld's kitten Choupette celebrated her first birthday today and boy, what a year it has been. That diary must be 1,000 pages by now. The w
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Karl Lagerfeld's kitten Choupette celebrated her first birthday today and boy, what a year it has been. That diary must be 1,000 pages by now.

The white, fluffy Birman beauty has catapulted to fame more quickly, we're pretty sure, than any other cat in history (and even many humans for that matter) and we feel that her meteoric rise to stardom is worth a closer look.

What makes Choupette's success different from that of other felines is that it did not involve any viral videos, photos with big misspelled captions or a blog of her wearing cat outfits (Lagerfeld finds that "circuslike"). To which we say LOLZ. So what exactly, besides being owned by Karl Lagerfeld, made her a superstar?

Choupette's birthday coincides with a piece in W's September issue, in which Le Figaro's deputy editor Virginie Mouzat more or less psychoanalyzes Lagerfeld's attachment to his muses, from Ines de la Fressange to a famous kitten, and connects it to a need to be loved. Is Choupette the latest of what she calls Karl's "fiercly devoted female companions?" And what consequences does that role come with? Is she just a modern day cat version of Edie Sedgwick?

Click through for our timeline of Choupette's rise to fame and what it all means for the future.

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August 19, 2011: Choupette is born (we're assuming, since yesterday was her birthday).

Getty

Getty

December 25, 2011: This is around when Lagerfeld muse/model Baptiste Giabiconi brought Choupette into Lagerfeld's life. The cat was actually his and he asked Lagerfeld to watch her while he went away for Christmas. Giabiconi did not get the cat back.

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January 16, 2012: The first photo of Choupette is Tweeted, by V's Stephen Gan

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January 24, 2012: Lagerfeld shows a couture collection that is mostly blue, against a blue backdrop. About six months later, Diane Kruger reveals that Lagerfeld designed an entire collection inspired by Choupette's eyes. Choupette's eyes are blue.

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May 10, 2012: Choupette plays with an iPad, and Karl Lagerfeld tweets a photo of this. We start to learn the true intellectual capacity of Choupette.

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June 6, 2012: Lagerfeld spills all the details on Choupette's life in a WWD interview. This is when we found out that Choupette has two maids who keep a diary about her life. The page count then rang in at 600.

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June 6, 2012: The same day, Choupette spawned a Twitter account: Choupette's Diary, who gave us an exclusive interview and currently has 15,125 followers.

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July 2, 2012: The Choupette bag is allegedly seen by Cathy Horyn. That is, a Chanel bag named after Choupette.

Getty

Getty

July 25, 2012: Lagerfeld begins to suspect that Choupette might be getting more famous than him. He told Grazia, "Soon people will talk more about Choupette than about me!" Indeed...

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July 30, 2012: Choupette becomes the most famous cat in the world, according to Lagerfeld. He tells the Independent, "She has become the most famous cat in the world." This is also when we find out that Choupette sits in the cockpit in the private jet when she and Lagerfeld take trips to St. Tropez.

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August 6, 2012: Choupette gets her first photo spread. It's for I-D and features 10 never-before-seen and incredibly adorable photos of her, plus a sketch called "The Coco Cat" where her tail makes a double "C." Chanel child model Hudson Kroenig (son of adult male Chanel model Brad) is photographed wearing a T-shirt with the sketch on it. Which we want. Bad.

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August 7, 2012: Choupette gets her first feature in a major fashion glossy--Harper's Bazaar. Lagerfeld contributes two black and white photos of the feline, which he shot. In one he has cat ears photoshopped onto his head. New details about Choupette's lifestyle are revealed, like that she has round the clock medical attention, Goyard dishes (one for water, one for her little croquette, and one for her pâté), gets brushed twice a day and plays in Colette shopping bags. Karl confirms he would never get a second cat because "she's the one."

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August 13, 2012: Choupette is featured in yet another fashion spread and it's a big one. Lagerfeld photographed her with supermodel Laetitia Casta on a bed outside in front of the Eiffel Tower for V's September issue. Choupette is also suspiciously credit to IMG's modeling agency. IMG declines comment on their relationship with Choupette.

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August 19, 2012: Choupette turns one. She gets some (probably very high quality) shrimp for her birthday, and probably some other ridiculous gifts.

Photo: Karl Lagerfeld for W

Photo: Karl Lagerfeld for W

August 20, 2012: We read Virginie Mouzat's piece on Lagerfeld, Choupette and Lagerfeld's other muses in W's September issue. Lagerfeld provides the photography for the piece, including one photo of Jamie Bochert, Maiwenn Le Besco, Virginie Viard (his studio director/collaborator), Ines de la Fressange, Amanda Harlech, Marie-Louise de Clermont-Tonnerre, Violette d'Urso, and Laetitia Crahay, all dressed as cats. In the first paragraph she writes,

Lagerfeld has an 8-month old kitten named Choupette, who increasingly plays a central role in his emotional life, and I started to wonder--not without reason--why Lagerfeld had wanted the women to resemble Choupette.

She goes on to track Lagerfeld's infatuation with various models and muses, the influence his mother has on who he is, and "the latest object of his affection, Choupette," who he sometimes pretends is writing his text messages. Viard tells W, "He signs them, Your Choupette." Mouzat suggests that Lagerfeld's attachment to Choupette, and his other female muses (Mouzat calls them Chanelettes), is proof that he's more of a "softie" than people think, that "behind his facade is an immense need to love and to be loved, to give and to receive." She writes,

The extreme fear Lagerfeld feels about being unloved explains both the profound attachment he shows for his Chanelettes and the brutal fall from grace that certain people have experienced as soon as the threat of hurt or abandon arises.

Mouzat's theory raises several questions: What are Lagerfeld's muses without Lagerfeld? And, what is Lagerfeld without his muses, Choupette included?

Like a muse or an it-girl, won't Choupette's spotlight soon fade? Perhaps she will have peaked at one, or perhaps she'll have one of those rare, long-lasting careers, protected by her alleged IMG contract. Only time will tell.

Meow.