Yes, that picture to the right really happened. That’s an adorable orange tabby named Rufio modeling a piece from a business that’s likely the first of its kind in South Florida: an inter-species clothing line dubbed Kitten Empire. The project of musician Jonny Veo, the line specializes, so far, in custom, punk-inspired outerwear for cats, and the occasional T-shirt for their humans. Why should spoiled dogs have all the fashion fun?
“The idea came to me while planning a coffee outing with a friend. She wished she could bring her kitten to Brew, and I suggested we made a collar and leash so we could make that a reality. After that, I realized the kitten wasn’t properly dressed and needed a jean jacket,” Jonny recalls. “The idea was born and we made jean jackets and posted them on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #unclejonnyskittencouture. Shortly after posting the pictures, people started requesting kitten couture for their pets, and that’s when Kitten Empire was born.”
The items for sale so far are clearly for the cat with a little bite, festooned as they are with skull patches, studs, and such. The cat items cost in the $30 to $40 range, and are made out of one piece of fabric, with no zippers, buttons, or other clasps to minimize fussing. Future items are also in the works for cats with more playful or refined tastes. Their humans will be able to shop for kitten superhero caps, and a new “classy kitten line” featuring garments adorned with cat-safe pearls.
Jonny’s got plenty of potential cat fit models. Rufio belongs to Kitten Empire’s photographer and kitten model wrangler, Renee Ferriell, but Jonny cares for a small army of creatures. “I have one cat currently but take in multiple strays and shelter and feed all the homeless cats in my neighborhood,” he says. “At any given time I will have up to five cats outside my lawn chilling. They come in and eat and get pet and play then go back outside on adventures.”
The more out-there cats from that bunch might especially appreciate one more upcoming addition to the Kitten Empire line: Kitten Kush, a line of purple catnip sold in baggies.
You can sample all the wares this Saturday at Green Room’s Caturday event, co-sponsored by Salty Eggs. If you missed it yesterday, click here to read up on the unexpected bonus of this party: real-life kittens you can adopt from the Cat Network. Why not pick out a matching cat-and-jacket set?
Caturday at Green Room, 10 p.m. Saturday, August 11 at Green Room, 109 SW 2nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Admission is free; age 21 and up. Call 954-449-1025, or visit greenroomlive.com