What could possibly be more iconic than fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld? Answer: Karl Lagerfeld's cat. As many of you know Karl Lagerfeld owns a cute, fluffy cat named Choupette, who often attends many a fashion show, publicity event, and pretty much anything glamorous alongside the Chanel king. The industry has often wondered about the kind of lavish life Karl's pet must live behind closed doors. Thankfully, their questions were answered when Choupette was given a Twitter account and soon after an Instagram. Ashley Tschudin created @choupettesdiary on Twitter in 2012 and became the voice of the highly publicized pets account. The feline's posts are a satirical and witty take on the world of fashion, while hitting on topics from pop culture to beauty. But, who is Ashley Tschudin? Read our exclusive interview to learn about the woman behind one of fashion's favorite accounts.
Have you always had an interest in social media and the digital space?
Yes, from the time of Live Journal and MySpace, I’ve always been interested in how the digital space allows for personal expression. However, it wasn’t until after college that I started dabbling in digital marketing for brands.
It all originally started with the Twitter and has since evolved into Instagram. What inspired you to create this?
My Twitter account is @ChoupettesDiary, which then expanded to the @ChoupettesDiary Instagram and in turn transitioned into a blog. The Twitter account was created originally as a joke and playful satire for what people believe the fashion industry is really like. I never expected this, many years later, to still continue to have a buzz around it but am grateful for all the support and love everyone has shown.
When you’re posing as one of fashion's most famous cats on social media, how do you stay inspired and creative?
In the past 2 years, it has increasingly become more challenging since Karl Lagerfeld’s team is not directly involved in my brand and therefore, I am not provided assets regularly. It is often a struggle to get original content when I don’t have direct access to Choupette.
You have over 50k Twitter followers and over 109k Instagram followers. Did you ever expect the accounts to get this much attention?
Never in a million years did I expect anyone to have interest in a cat social media account. When I originally created @ChoupettesDiary, there weren’t “pet influencers.” Every time I mention the account and someone is familiar with it already, I still am shocked.
What have been some of the best reactions to the success of your Choupette accounts?
My favorite reactions are the ones I get from older generations not as active on social media and who do not understand why I would pretend to be a cat on Instagram.
Has Karl Lagerfeld himself reacted to the social media stardom of his cat?
Yes, when I initially started the account, his team reached out via email to make sure I was going to do it in a positive light and then they’ve been hands off ever since. I have read articles where Karl mentions the account, which is always very flattering.
These accounts have since helped you land jobs in the social media world. Could you tell us a bit about that?
Yes! @ChoupettesDiary has become my calling card and my portfolio. It has led to jobs both at agencies, in publishing, and in-house within the fashion, beauty, and luxury lifestyle spaces.
Who have been your biggest mentors in this industry?
I wish I could say I had someone to guide me in the social media space, but since I was such an early adapter, there wasn’t anyone to look to for help sadly.
We all live in a world dominated by social media, and as a social media expert, what are some of your tips and tricks for standing out and growing your platform?
By no means am I an “expert” but thank you! The social space is so oversaturated so my advice would be to try to create something original as opposed to trying to become an “influencer.” Everyone thinks just because they have an Instagram account that they are “influencers” and most don’t realize how much work actually goes into it from strategy development and content creation to analyzing your stats and managing partnerships.
For someone who may be a bit behind the social media game and is just joining now, do you think it’s too late? If not, what tips can you give them?
It isn’t too late to build your brand on social media but try to approach it from a fresh angle. Don’t just post photos of macaroons and your outfits and expect to stand out. Whether it’s a unique photography technique or carving out a new niche for yourself, it’s important not to just jump into social without a strategy or an original idea.
What are some of your favorite up and coming social platforms we should keep our eyes on?
It has been a LONG time since I’ve seen a new social platform I want to invest time in. Vero is gaining a lot of buzz even though it’s been around a while, but it has a lot of bugs so I won’t be advising any of my clients to adopt the platform until they fix the kinks.
With the industry changing so quickly, what advice would you give to someone hoping to follow in your footsteps?
Don’t follow in my footsteps. Make your own path!
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