Zappa the Instagram Model Cat Is Inspired by Gigi Hadid and Has the Closet to Prove It
Most of the outfits Zappa models are made by the cat's loving owner
Call her a meow-del or a purrfessional poser, but her owner calls her Zappa.
The stunning white cat is a Rotterdam native who spends her days in the Netherlands with her owner Lana Vermeegen. The 3-year-old feline has turned Instagram into her own personal cat walk, filling her account (which has over 70,000 followers) with beautifully designed shots featuring even cuter clothes.
While Zappa does the posing, it’s Vermeegen who is behind the kitty’s killer outfits, which are stitch perfect imitations of high fashion looks shrunk down to fit Zappa’s svelte feline figure.
To help pet and fashion lovers alike find inspiration from Zappa’s signature style, PEOPLE talked to her owner about what goes into caring for a feline fashion star.
How did Zappa come into your life?
When I was living on my own for the first time, I was really missing the presence of a pet. My mom also has a completely white cat called Ted. So I went looking for my own little Ted. A few weeks later I found Zappa and I fell in love instantly.
Why did you decide to create an Instagram account for Zappa?
When Zappa was a little kitten, I was just so happy with her and I couldn’t stop taking pictures of her. Occasionally (all the time, maybe), I would post pictures of her on my personal social media accounts and after a while some people started complaining about how the only thing they saw was Zappa, so then I decided to make an Instagram account with the pictures I made of Zappa.
How would you describe Zappa’s personality?
She’s super curious, that’s probably the main reason why she’s always around us. She’s also very social, she likes to greet everyone who comes in our house and when we talk to her she likes to talk back.
When did you decide to start dressing Zappa in clothes?
Quite early, actually. I really like clothes and fashion myself and I thought it was really cute to look for tiny clothes that would fit Zappa. So Zappa slowly got used to it. Later on, I decided that Zappa could be the face of pet streetwear/fashion and started to incorporate little fashion pieces.
How did you get Zappa comfortable wearing clothes?
We started with dressing Zappa up when she was very young and she got used to it. We wouldn’t do it if she didn’t like it.
Where do you find Zappa’s high fashion looks?
Almost all of her looks are custom made. It began with some black blank hoodies I ordered for Zappa because I thought it would look cute on her. I’ve made the Supreme box logo hoodie myself using an real Supreme tag from an old sweater. Sometimes I also coincidently find a little item that would look great on Zappa. But I mostly enjoy making the custom items. It’s a challenge to get as close to the “human” version as possible.
How do you get her to pose for photos?
That’s a funny question actually because a lot of the times we don’t have to do anything for it. She’s a very natural model! But she also has some days that she’s not really into to it and then we try to distract her with toys and treats.
When did Zappa start to become popular on Instagram?
There was actually one post in particular that made a big change. Me and my boyfriend were doing the dishes, and Zappa is always somewhere around us in the house. I just put a big glass bowl down and Zappa then decided she could sleep in the bowl. Then I made this picture:
And that picture kind of went viral within the pet community after I posted it. The funny thing is also that the picture is still getting reposted very regularly.
What kind of reactions do you get from her followers?
We get a lot of different reactions but they are always positive. Of course a lot of people think she looks so cute and beautiful. Just like us. Since the feature on Hypebae we also notice an increase in streetwear people that are interested in the tiny outfits. But we also had some really heartbreaking reactions of people who have lost a white cat. They follow Zappa because it gives them comfort. This is a great honor to us and gives us a lot of joy!
What do people want to know most about Zappa?
We get the question which breed she is all the time! And it’s always so funny to us because she is just a European shorthair, she’s no special breed but we have to admit she is a very handsome little lady.
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What is your favorite thing about Zappa?
We love that Zappa is so close to us. No matter what we do, Zappa is always near us. And she’s always so happy to see us when we get home from work! When we put the key in the door you can hear her meow very loudly in the living room, it’s so adorable.
Who are Zappa’s style icons?
Gigi Hadid, because she is such a great inspiration for the poses.