Why do we love people who don’t love us back?
In life, most of us are either cats or dogs. Puss Puss is a magazine devoted to the cat people: the elusive ones; the ones who make you work for it. Opening with a portfolio of creatives who possess this complex, often frustrating quality, issue eight of Puss Puss begins by posing a difficult question: “Why do we give so much affection to something — or someone — who doesn’t always show it back, and therefore demands us to always love them more?”
Featuring four cover stars, including musician Cat Power and legendary filmmaker Agnès Varda, enjoying this svelte, crimson-bound piece of publishing transcends actual cat ownership itself. Shoot-heavy, fashion editorials are a focus, but as editor Maria Joudina-Robinson explains, “We want Puss Puss to be a magazine that people look at and also read.”
Talking us through her aversion to boring questions, fast fashion and fur, Maria gave us a four-point guide to the new issue.
1. Cat Person
“For us, a cat person is someone who is independent, with great style and impeccable taste; someone who does their own thing and pursues their vision regardless of what everyone else says or thinks. It’s not necessarily linked to owning or even liking cats — it’s a state of mind and a metaphysical quality that you either have or you don’t. I feel like most creative people are cat people to a degree, they’re the ones who lead and don’t follow and who live their lives with a certain style and grace. You can’t make a cat like you, they only hang out with you if they choose to, on their terms and when they damn please. That’s what makes them so fascinating.”
2. Fashion Victim
“Fashion is a huge part of the issue, but we have a strong anti-fur stance. We never shoot it. I’m happy to see so many brands rejecting the use of real fur and exotic leathers — the ones that don’t are out of step with the times. Fashion is a vehicle to express ideas and create beautiful images within the magazine, but I do often question the industry’s cyclical nature, and the amount of waste it creates as a result.”
3. Cover Story
“We ran four different covers for this issue. We started doing multiple covers because the type of people we wanted to profile in Puss Puss often wouldn’t agree to a feature unless they got the cover. This time, we have the amazing Agnès Varda shot by Juergen Teller — she’s a total icon so that cover was a no-brainer — it’s something we’ve been working on for years. Then we have the actress Rowan Blanchard — who’s just 17 — we thought it would be great to have someone who is so young next to Agnès, especially as Rowan is such a huge fan of hers (Rowan actually cried when she met Agnès at an event because she’s such an inspiration for her). Cat Power is also someone we’ve wanted to feature for ages — finally the stars aligned. The cover featuring the model Adesuwa is really cool because we shot her wearing the Louis Vuitton collection designed by Grace Coddington, who we featured in issue five (also shot by Jeurgen Teller). And the clothes feature drawings of her cats!”
4. Wish List
“We have a dream-wish-list of people who inspire us every time we start to make an issue — then it’s a case of what works out and how we can create a good balance. We feature artists, musicians, writers; people with something to say and to show. And we avoid asking them the same questions they’ve been asked a million times before. With this issue’s interview with Cat Power, for example, we didn’t want to focus on the drama of her leaving her label. It makes it more engaging for everyone: the subject, the journalist, and eventually the reader.”