Choupette Lagerfeld--and cats in fashion, in general--are having a big moment. So far this month, Choupette has landed a profile in i-D, a spread in Harper's Bazaar; and now, making us wish we waited a week to post our Cat-itorials roundup, she has a 10-page spread in the September fashion issue of V alongside Laetitia Casta. And it's amazing.
Even though her dad Karl Lagerfeld shot the editorial, Choupette looks terrified--but beautiful--as she poses with an equally gorgeous Casta on a bed in front of the Eiffel tower. Casta tells V, “She is an unusually beautiful cat, and it was a lovely experience.” There's also something interest in the credits. No, there wasn't a special cat hairstylist. However, there is a model agency credit for Choupette: "Model Laetitia Casta and choupette (IMG)"
What?? Does IMG represent animals? Does Choupette the cat share an agent with Laetitia Casta? We've reached out to IMG and they were unable to comment at the time.
The spread coincides with a brilliant article on the world of cat modeling by Amy Odell on Buzzfeed Shift. Some highlights below, and click through to see Choupette's full V spread.
V editor Sarah Cristobal on cats getting trendy:
Definitely, people in the office have been like, 'I should get a cat. [Cats'] personalities do match the fashion set — they're beautiful and graceful but also kind of finicky.
And on Choupette:
She's going to have an everlasting career.
Cat models are trained from a young age:
These are career cats, who spend their lives in show business and train for the spotlight from infancy. Cat fashion models often do the cat show circuit and belong to breeders. Others belong to animal trainers. (The two careers tend to overlap.)
Different cat face types are good for different things:
While "smashed-in face cats" are more popular at cat shows, cats with long noses are popular requests for fashion shoots, because people think they look less angry.
Cats don't make as much money as humans, and aren't unionized:
Often rates are around $200 for a two-hour shoot, and $500 for a full eight-hour day; overtime is common, but cats aren't paid for it. Cats also don't get royalties if images from one shoot are used for more than one editorial or ad campaign. Day rates for the cats often depend on the budget for a shoot, but, [Cathryn] Long [an editor from an animal modeling agancy] says, "Don't expect to send your kids to college on the number of jobs your cat's going to get in a year."