People love their pets. In fact, some people love their pets so much, they design $37,500 worth collars for them. Well maybe not some people, but one person, designer Karl Lagerfeld, recently fashioned a one-of-a-kind collar made of 40 carats of black diamonds and a 22.3 carat hydrothermal emerald centerpiece for his precious kitten, Choupette.
Sound crazy? At least one of the kitten’s two personal maids would probably agree with you. But as far as Karl Lagerfeld is concerned, when it comes to extravagance, there’s just no such thing as too much. The German-born, Paris-based fashion designer, photographer, and artist has worked as the creative director and head designer for Chanel and Fendi as well as launched his own fashion-line. He is known for his eccentricity, which includes never revealing his true birthday (according to a February 2009 interview he was “born neither in 1933 or 1938”), his fashion-driven 92.6 pound weight loss over the short span of 13 months, and his creation of a teddy bear in his likeness worth $1,500.
In addition to his quirks, the high-fashion designer is known for finding his way to the center of controversy. In 1993, Lagerfeld hired adult film star Moana Pozzi and a group of strippers to model his black-and-white collection for Fendi, causing Anna Wintour, the US Vogue editor-in-chief and subject of the popular 2009 documentary The September Issue, to walk out of the show. He offensively quoted the Quran in his 1994 spring collection for Chanel, openly criticized pop megastar Adele for being “a little too fat,” and described Heidi Klum as “insignificant in the world of high fashion.”
He has also gotten notable attention from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for supporting the fur industry and its use in fashion. PETA has described Lagerfeld as a “designer dinosaur,” and in 2001, a group of Peta protestors shot tofu pies at him in objection of his use of fur in his fashion premiere at Lincoln Center. In a 2009 BBC interview, Langerfeld stated, “In a meat-eating world, wearing leather for shoes and clothes and even handbags, the discussion of fur is childish.” He continued to compare himself to a hunter, making a living out of “killing those beasts who would kill us if they could” – an interesting sentiment for someone who bejeweled his cat’s collar in insanely-valuable 40 carat black diamonds.
Of the collar, Lagerfeld has said, “I’m renowned for my love of a high collar, and I wanted to create a true collector’s item with this one-off piece. Merging the masculine with the feminine and the uniting the world of fine jewelry and high fashion, to me, this collar is a work of art and a real showstopper.
The collar is set for display at the art and design fair, Masterpiece London, between June 28 and July 4. It will then be passed on to Net-A-Porter, a luxury e-tailer, who will sell it to a buyer with Karl’s original sketch of the piece. Despite the “designer dinosaur’s” misdoings, a portion of the proceeds from the collar will be donated to CLIC Sargeant, a charity for children living with cancer. If you ever find yourself in possession of such a bold piece of feline fashion, be sure to send it in to Diamonds USA!
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