You may have gotten bumped to the front row because of a celebrity no-show, but that doesn’t mean you have Kate Moss on speed dial. Mastering the art of the VIP (Very Important Pussy) isn’t as easy as showing your lady bits when exiting a town-car, rather it takes effortless ease. Translation: You might not be cut out for the front of the line or front row.
Contrary to popular belief, I wasn’t born a VIP when I shacked up with my first Daddy, Baptiste Giabiconi — who will be hence-forward known as my uncle. While my uncle was a well-known model and highly respected in the fashion industry, I was too young to mix with the fashion elite. There were no galas, no champagne-fueled brunches, or cocktail mixers…yet.
It wasn’t until I was gifted to the now late Daddy Karl Lagerfeld that I became a VIP. Overnight, I became a household name and a constant fixture on Page Six. For those who don’t know about the infamous Page Six, understand one thing: the publicity is priceless.
As the proverbial chateau doors opened to my VIP future, the photo shoots became more frequent, the invites were always for front row, and humans began to fawn over my every social media move. I was no longer a kitten; I was officially a Very Important Pussy. While my ego grew, so did my desire for continuous career and personal growth. After all, no human nor feline wants to be a “one hit wonder”. With this desire, I sought to expand my friend and follower network, build up my power wardrobe, receive more exclusive invites, and purrrfect my public persona.
If you’re looking to follow in my pawsteps, here are the steps you need to take to transform into your own VIP:
Un: You are the company you surround yourself with — These aren’t all necessarily the friends you call while crying about an ex, rather they can also be your entourage you Snapchat a photo of your Birkin with spilled coffee to, captioning it “Trés Horrible!”
Every VIP has his or her core group of IRL friends, social media “friends”, frienemies, and posse. Your IRL friends are those who know the true you; the you who had wire-frame glasses before Gucci made them cool again. These IRL’s know your real Daddy (and Mommy) and have stuck by your side through the ups and downs in life and in your career. These are your ride or dies on speed dial.
Your social media “friends” are the humans who wait with baited breath for you to post a news selfie on your private jet. They like every photo you share, comment on all flatlays, and purchase every product featured in your shelfies. Social media “friends” should be treated as your community. You want to share your life with them digitally and create an ongoing dialogue. It is about creating a balance of social media content output and engagement. Don’t think because you have over 50K followers you can ignore a DM from someone with a lesser following. Make it a point to respond to everyone in your social media community. It doesn’t have to be an immediate response, but it does have to be a response. You never know which follower’s Tweet, Instagram Story, or Facebook post about you might lead to viral exposure.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are your frenemies. You already know the type: they wish you well to your face then pull a Lisa Vanderpump and sell your story to the tabloids. Sorry Vanderpump; I still admire what you’re doing for the animals dahhhling! Frenemies should be treated with kid gloves and the information you share with them should be limited. You want to keep them close enough to keep your big blue eyes on but at arms length away so they can’t use anything against you.
The final company you should keep are your entourage. Your posse are a core group within your industry who you attend events with. They help you pick out your outfits for fashion week, ride with you and your personal driver to events, and can hold their own in social situations. To create the personal posse seek out fellow humans at events who dress to impress, network like CEOs, and can sip champs with everyone from Naomi to Michelle Obama. You want to create a social group who are not only well-dressed but are also well-spoken and composed. It’s a plus if they’re willing to do what it takes to get the perfect iPhone photo of you, even if it takes 50 snaps.
Deux: You’re only as valuable as your assets. Your assets include everything from your perfectly coiffed hair to the Loubs you climb into your personal jet wearing. Investing in a classic Chanel 2.55 is as important as investing in your personal appearance. This doesn’t mean you have to have an unlimited budget. Rather, it’s about prioritizing your money where it will have the most impact now and in the future.
While budget isn’t a word I was familiar with prior to Daddy’s passing, it is a word my business manager is now stressing. At first I rolled my eyes at the thought, but the more time spent understanding my finances, the more I wanted to make smarter money moves.
Now, instead of impulse purchases I wish list items. If I still can’t live without them or get them off my brain within a month, I save for the item. This mentality is not just for new handbags and can also be applied to your business decisions, beauty procedures (yes, even Botox), and estate plan. Bottom line: impulse purchases don’t make for valuable assets.
Trois: No need for an invite because you’re the guest of honor. From the pool at the SoHo House to Hotel Meurice, the patrons are practically begging you to make an appearance. The key word here is appearance; give a few cheek kisses, compliment some couture, sip a glass of champs and be on your way (to the next soon-to-be-discovered hotspot).
The key to maintaining your status as a VIP is to see and be seen. You don’t need to give up every evening Netflix binge; just schedule your appearances to be seen at the right events. The right events are the events that allow you to mix and mingle with people that have the potential to further either your personal or professional life. These are the events that not only give you networking opportunities but also offer press or social media exposure. An air kiss here, a casual business card slip there, a social media snap and you’re back home to the latest Netflix crime drama.
Quartre: When in doubt about how to master the art of the VIP, ask yourself, “WWCD (What Would Choupette Do?).”
[Photo Source: Monica Smiley eighty seventh st]