The late designer Karl Lagerfeld has left a vast portion of his estimated $200 million fortune to his Birman cat, Choupette.
Earlier this week, the news of Lagerfeld’s death was shared. He died in Paris on Tuesday at the age of 85.
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The German designer, who was the creative director for Chanel and Fendi, was given Choupette by French model Baptiste Giabiconi in 2012.
In an interview last year with French magazine Le Numéro, Lagerfeld was asked if Choupette would inherit a part of his wealth.
“Among others, yes. Don’t worry, there is enough for everyone,” he said and addressed the cat as “the heiress.”
It is illegal to leave money to an animal under the French law. But Lagerfeld had previously said that Choupette can receive her share if an association names her as a beneficiary, due to Lagerfeld’s German nationality.
“That´s OK,” he told reporters who once questioned him on leaving his cat millions, “because I am not French”, hinting that the money could be left in trust in Germany.
Lagerfeld’s godson Hudson Kroenig, who is the son of his muse U.S. model Brad Kroenig, is next in line to Choupette for the inheritance.
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According to French magazine Le Figaro, Lagerfeld also said that Choupette was an “heiress.”
“If something happens to me, the person who will take care of her will not be in misery,” he said in a 2015 interview.
Lagerfeld had previously acknowledged that Choupette has at least two maids dedicated to caring for her and referred to her as a “full time job.”
She is spoiled, “much more than a child could be,” he said in 2013, revealing that he took her to the vet nearly every 10 days.
Choupette’s next guardian hasn’t been chosen yet.
Lagerfeld’s cat has her own Instagram account with 240K followers. Any inheritance Choupette receives from Lagerfeld’s estate will be added to her own fortune.
Like a proud parent, Lagerfeld told a magazine that Choupette earned more than $3 million in 2014 for advertising campaigns.
A message was posted on Choupette’s account mourning the loss of her “daddy.”
“Thank you everyone for your words of condolences,” the account — run by Ashley Tschudin — wrote, with an emoji of a crying cat. “With a once cold but now simply broken heart, I am going into mourning. I pray that your kind words and well-wishes will help me to put my best paw forward in my future without Daddy @KarlLagerfeld & as my own woman.”
Tschudin released a statement about Choupette coping with the loss of Lagerfeld.
“At such a young age (and being a cat), that is challenging,” the statement read. “Karl Lagerfeld is and will always be her ‘Daddy.’ She is choosing to put her best paw forward and hopes that her loyal fans and followers will continue with their outpouring of love to help ease the pain.”
Lagerfeld first met Choupette in 2011 when she stayed with him while Giabiconi was on vacation.
“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 told Le Numéro.
“She is peaceful, funny, fun and gracious, she’s pretty to look at and has good poise, but her main quality is that she doesn’t talk. It was love at first sight.”
In April 2018, he also told the magazine that he and Choupette were “really like an old couple.”
Lagerfeld, Chanel’s iconic couturier whose designs had an unprecedented impact on the entire fashion industry, died Tuesday in Paris, prompting an outpouring of love and admiration for the man in the trademark white ponytail, high starched collar and dark enigmatic glasses who dominated high fashion for the past 50 years.
Lagerfeld was one of the most hardworking figures in the fashion world, holding down the top design jobs at LVMH-owned luxury label Fendi from 1977, and Paris’ family-owned power-house Chanel in 1983. He lost around 90 pounds in his late 60s to fit into the latest slimline fashions.
—With files from the Associated PressFollow @KatieScottNews
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