United Bamboo: Haute Cat-ure

The Brand’s New Feline Calendar Bodes Well for a Frisky 2011

“The idea of putting cats in clothes is kind of a national past time in Japan, so I’m told,” explains Noah Sheldon, who shot these decked-out feline portraits for cult brand United Bamboo's 2011 calendar. Sheldon credits the idea to the Japanese arm of the fashion design duo, Miho Aoki (the other half being Thuy Pham, who is Vietnamese). Fashion Institute of Technology graduates Aoki and Pham—favorites on New York’s downtown scene, whose clients and collaborators include Karen O, Kim Gordon, Sean Lennon and Terence Koh—culled looks from their fall and resort collections, as well as a few annual staples such as the parka, and recreated them in miniature for the furballs. Next came a mad-cap casting call with over 100 cats, from which a dozen of the “best looking” were selected to be photographed. Among the winners were a Persian, a Maine Coon and a Russian Blue. Sidney Prawatyotin, a long-term pal of the designers who helped wrangle both animals and humans on the shoot, described the mildly surreal scene: “When you get models together and there’s more than one star, you’d better get ready for a fight. A few of the owners did leave with scratches.” This is United Bamboo’s second annual charity calendar, which raises money for Animal Haven and Kitty Kind. The twelve images will also be be exhibited for two weeks in a silent auction at Creatures of Comfort in New York from the 17th November.

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