2012 has proved to us just how fashion-worthy cats can be: not only are they all over your favorite sweaters, dresses, shoes, hats, headbands (the list goes on), but these fashionable felines have evolved from cute cat prints into actual fashion models. We know many of you are closet cat people. Heck, even Chictopia’s C.E.O. is a renowned cat lady! So let’s get into the details of how our adorable furry friends are quickly taking over the fashion world… from simple prints at Miu Miu to haute cat-ture Internet stardom.
You’ve probably been noticing cats popping up on the runway, in fashion spreads and on clothes. Could it be a trend started by the Interwebs/YouTube where cute cats reign superior? Or is it that people in the fashion industry are mostly cat people (ie. Grace Coddington and Karl Lagerfeld)? The answers are yes and yes— it’s no doubt that we see cats in commercials even when they hardly relate to the product being sold, and it’s no question that people in the fashion industry have a thing for cats. Sarah Cristobal, editor of V magazine, couldn’t have said it better: “[Cats’] personalities do match the fashion set — they’re beautiful and graceful but also kind of finicky.” Cats and fashion go together like fat kid on cake, hands down.
But where did the idea that cats are fashionable even begin? It seems like a simple question, with fashion’s traditional identification with femininity and cats being portrayed as slender and elegant in films (I’m talking pre-Maru days). To answer this question, though, I’d like to point out how society has placed cats and fashion in the same category by making a comparison to their well known furry counterpart: dogs. Dogs are commonly seen as masculine, while cats are seen as feminine, for reasons based on gender stereotypes of personality and physical traits. Basically, cats go with fashion and femininity just like dogs go with what are considered to be masculine activities. In a society full of dog lovers and cat haters, it makes sense that many people in fashion, who are in a small subset that often praises femininity and goes against the norm, identify with cats, the minority. If you want to learn more about this, I’d recommend reading this article by Society Pages.
Cat-akeover of Fashion
Cats made their first big editorial appearance in Lanvin’s 2009 ad featuring two black felines. Cat print made an unforgettable appearance in Miu Miu’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection, with models going down the runway in lavish cat print collars, suits, and dresses. In 2011, Anna Sui and Givenchy showed those famous cat ear hats, which led to models dressing up as cats in editorials like Chanel’s 2011 ad with Freja Beha Erichsen as a full-on feline. In 2012, as Buzzfeed reports, cats became high in demand in the modeling industry. Lagerfeld’s cat Choupette is currently represented by IMG Modeling and is known as a breakout Internet star. YouTube star Maru, who’s known for jumping into boxes, was part of a UNIQLO campaign this year. There was even a cat fashion show held at Aloqonquin Hotel.
At the same time of the “cat-akeover” of the fashion industry, street style became steep in cat clothing and accessories. Miu Miu’s catified collection spurred on a trend of cat print as seen on Iris of Fashion Zen. Street style photographer Hanneli was seen baring it in Opening Ceremony’s cat print sweater during fashion week. Some favorite cat trend spotting on Chictopia include Mayo’s cat outfit, Laura’s white kitty dress, and Gogo Sushi’s cat tights. And let’s not forget the creation of the blog The Catorialist.