Is Karl Lagerfeld’s cat Choupette the most pampered animal in fashion?

She already has a bodyguard, a personal chef and two maids, but the seven-year-old cat could soon inherit a sizeable chunk of the late designer’s £150m fortune

Of all the paperwork that follows a death, few things are as distressing as the will. In the case of Karl Lagerfeld, the recently deceased Chanel creative director, that has taken a slightly tragicomic turn with news that Choupette, his seven-year-old pet cat, may inherit some of his £150m fortune. Laugh all you will but, according to the French newspaper Le Figaro, this could be feasible under German law if the cat was nominated the designer’s “heir” through the right channels.

It’s hardly surprising; the gilded existence of Lagerfeld’s fluffy white birman has been well documented, after all. Waking daily at 6.30am, Choupette is brushed (the first of six times a day) and her eyes cleaned using Ocryl. Disappointingly, she is not vegan, and instead subsists on Hill’s Science Plan and carbon-filtered water. Her day-to-day life involves a bodyguard, a personal chef and two maids, and, when possible, she practises cat yoga. According to Vogue Paris, her treat is dipping her nose in Lagerfeld’s butter. Still, she earns her keep, having made €3m (£2.6m) in campaigns in 2014 alone.

Choupette might be the luckiest living pet, but she is not alone. Fashion and pets have a rich history, particularly when it comes to inheritance. Alexander McQueen left his three dogs a rather generous £50,000 in his will, while Oprah Winfrey has said she plans to leave her dogs £30m. It is rumoured that the American heiress Ella Wendel bequeathed £15m to her pet poodle in 1931, a staggering amount even before you’ve adjusted it for inflation.

Living pets do well too. Marc Jacobs’s bull terrier, Neville, starred in the designer’s SS15 Bookmarc campaign and has been immortalised in the photojournal, Neville Jacobs: I’m Marc’s Dog. Roberto Cavalli’s dog Lupo is integral to Cavalli’s design process and has the rarified lifestyle to match, while Valentino owns, or at least has owned, 11 pugs that, over the years, have between them nobly shared a private butler, private car and seats on Valentino’s private plane.

The real cost of luxury was revealed in 2013 when Alan TBH Plumptre, Tatler’s in-house dachshund, was killed in the revolving doors of Vogue House. The contents of Alan’s will remain unknown, although it is rumoured he accumulated more currency – and followers – on social media after his death.


Morwenna Ferrier

The GuardianTramp

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