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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 26 March 2019

After Karl Lagerfeld's death, what will happen to Choupette?

The Birman cat has belonged to the designer since 2011 and has had quite the spoilt life ever since

Karl Lagerfeld poses next to a painting of his cat, Choupette. AFP
Karl Lagerfeld poses next to a painting of his cat, Choupette. AFP

Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, the creative director of Chanel, Fendi and his own label, passed away on February 19 in Paris, leaving behind his much-loved and often pampered feline, Choupette.

The Birman cat was originally owned by model Baptiste Giabiconi, but soon became the designer’s when he fell in love after he agreed to catsit her.

“It was love at first sight. Baptiste was going on holiday and asked if he could leave her with the staff at my house while he was away. She was still a baby at the time, and I found her so cute that when Baptiste came home I said to him, 'Sorry but I’m keeping her!'” Lagerfeld once recalled to The Standard.

The most famous cat in the world

Just a few months later, Lagerfeld dubbed Choupette“the most famous cat in the world". Her celebrity continued to rise as she began modelling, appearing on the cover of V Magazine with Laetitia Casta in 2012, and released a book called Choupette: The Private Life of a High Flying Fashion Cat in 2014, the same year that Shu Uemura brought out a make-up collection in her honour, entitled Shupette.

She’s even gained quite the following on social media as her accounts have attracted 183k followers on Instagram and 50.7k on Twitter.

Choupette’s Diary, a website authored by Ashley Tschudin (who handles the social media for Choupette as well), posted a blog entry about Lagerfeld’s death, paying tribute to the designer on behalf of his beloved pet.

“I am eternally grateful for the life and love he gave me through adoption. I will never forget the moments we’ve shared together traveling, exploring, and creating," the post read.

"May Daddy Karl Lagerfeld’s memory live on forever through his work and may we never forget the creative genius who now sits in heaven beside Mommy Coco Chanel.”

What's next for Choupette?

While her life of luxury could be glimpsed through social media, many are left wondering what will become of her now after Lagerfeld’s death. After all, the two were very close. He even once based a collection around her called "Choupette in love".

In a 2012 interview with WWD, Lagerfeld revealed just how pampered the cat was. He said she ate her lunch and dinner with him at the table, had two personal maids and a bodyguard and flew on private jets.

With his net worth estimated to be around $200 million (Dh734.5m), it’s not hard to think some will be left to his beloved pet. However, Choupette was no slouch as she was able to earn some income on her own.

“Choupette is a rich girl,” Lagerfeld once told French television, hinting that had written her into his will.

“She has her own fortune,” he added, thought to be around $3.4 million (Dh12.8m) which she earned doing adverts for a German car firm and a Japanese cosmetics brand.

It's also been speculated that Lagerfeld may have left a large chunk to his godson Hudson Kroenig, who sometimes appeared with him at the end of his shows for Chanel. However, Choupette was undoubtedly a strong presence in his life.

While we don't know who the next owner of Choupette will be, at least we can be reassured she will likely be left in good hands.

Updated: February 20, 2019 05:03 PM

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