By Crystal C. Long
What do you get when you combine New York City’s most fashionable felines, a generous dose of philanthropic efforts, and a truly classic, historic pet-friendly hotel? You get The Algonquin Hotel’s annual cat fashion show of course! That’s right ladies, gents, and all their furry best friends, the annual cat fashion show at the legendary Algonquin Hotel has happened — and my oh my was it an affair to remember.
On August 1st, 2019, The Algonquin Hotel hosted their annual charity fundraiser and cat fashion show and welcomed all animal lovers and some of the city’s most glamorous furry friends to the oh-so-elegant event space. Thrown in honor of the hotel’s most adorable staff member, the Algonquin Cat, the event also has a fantastic cause behind it — raising money for the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, one of the largest, if not the largest, non-profit animal charity organization in New York City, dedicated to saving the lives of the city’s homeless animals. The purr-tastic event, which has been held at the Algonquin Hotel for the past 11 years, carried the theme “It’s a Small World” for this year’s event — where, naturally, the “mewdels” donned opulent outfits representing different countries of the world. This theme was also chosen to celebrate all the diversity in NYC.
At the cat fashion show, ten furry fashionistas strutted down the CATwalk (pun fully intended) in one-of-a-kind outfits designed by Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) alum and pet fashion designer, Ada Nieves, who has been designing for the show for the past six years. The glamorous felines wore looks that represented the United States, Ireland, China, France, Spain, India, Germany, Egypt, and the United Kingdom. Other than the meow-tastic fashion show, the charity fundraiser also included cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts served alongside a silent auction highlighting various kitty-centric items; and an on-site mobile adoption unit hosted by animal rescue group, Linda’s Feral Cat Assistance.
The cat fashion show shone a beaming spotlight on the Big Apple’s prominent stylish kitties, some of which specifically hand-picked by Nieves: like Cannoli and Wasabi, a pair of hairless cats adorning a German-themed outfit and a Chinese-themed outfit, respectively; Folds, an undeniably charming Scottish Fold sporting a Brit-punk assemble with a black leather jacket, a bright orange mohawk, and purple sunglasses; and Joe DiMeowgio, an appropriately grumpy feline in a Napoleon costume.
But what makes this year’s event extra special for the hotel is that it coincided with the third birthday of, you guessed it, Hamlet the Algonquin Cat. The Algonquin Hotel has served as a home to a total of 12 cats so far since the 1930s, eight males named Hamlet and three females named Matilda, the hotel’s current resident is the 12th cat: Hamlet VIII. All these beloved felines are, of course, rescues — with Hamlet adopted from Bidawee in Long Island after living among a feral cat colony.
The event has raised more than $10,000 benefiting the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals.