A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from February 28, 2015
Cat Pack

Entry in progress—B.P.
Rat Pack
23 November 1971, Aberdeen (SD) American-News, “Earl Wilson’s New York,” pg. 4, col. 5:
Women’s Wear Daily launched a “Cat Pack” of accepted celebrities which included Lauren Bacall but not Barbra Streisand, and Laurance Rockefeller but not Nelson.
28 November 1971, Sunday Times Advertiser (Trenton, NJ), “Cassini Carousel” by Igor and Oleg Cassini, pt. 5, pg. 2, col. 6:
Women’s Wear Daily is always inventing something or other (they publicized The Beautiful People phrase and made it famous; they invented the “Longuette” for the terrible midi dress length). Now they’ve dubbed a group The Cat Pack and put certain “in” people on it and left certain others off. Barbra Streisand, who looks like a Siamese cat, is off the list. Princess Margaret isn’t on either, though her husband, is. WWD says Johnny Carson, Ted Kennedy, John Lindsay, Nelson Rockefeller are not cat packers. But banker Lawrence Rockefeller is a Cat Person, for example, and so are Truman Capote, Charlie Chaplin, Mao Tse-tung, Chou En-lai, Babe Paley,Henry Kissinger, and Maria Collas, to name just a few. Hmmmm, reading over the list makes you wonder if you might not rather be a member of the Dog Pack.
19 December 1971, Seattle (WA) Times, pg. H5, col. 2:
Fashion News From Dorothy Neighbors
Cat People find Halston ‘cat’s meow’
EDITOR’S NOTE: Women’s Wear Daily, often called the “bible of the fashion industry,” coined the names “Beautiful People, “Private People” and several others. The newest is “Cat People.” If you are a C. P., you cause more of a wave than a ripple when you walk into a New York party. You have power—social, artistic, cultural or political. you know how to entertain, and that takes lots of money. But most of all you have staying power. You can’t be too young. You have to prove yourself first. About the only other thing the C. P. have in common is stamina. Today’s article is about Halston, designer for the C. P.
24 March 1972, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), “Low Hems Raise Curiosity: Result Is Book Probing Women’s Wear Daily” by Anna Anable, pg. 3-E, col. 2:
She became steeped in WWD folklore, which assumes you know BP means “beautiful people,” CP means member of the “cat pack” hence terribly chic and snappy, and FV means “fashion victim,” or one who lets clothes wear her rather than the other way around, plus all the code names for New York restaurants frequented by the BP and CP.
8 January 1979, Omaha (NE) World-Herald, “What Happened to Handshake? Current Gestures Appear Phony” by Letitia Baldridge (Los Angeles Times Syndicate), pg. 8, col. 1:
Today kissing seems to be a casual action exchanged between absolute strangers—as witness the celebrities who meet for the first time in their lives on TV talk shows, and who proceed to kiss the host and all the other guests seated within the range of the TV cameras.
One might refer to the above kind of kissing as “cat pack kissing,” so named by Women’s Wear Daily, a trade newpaper of the fashion world.
Urban Dictionary
Cat Pack
A group with as little as two, but usually three or more females all hanging out together. A cat pack is usually observed at night club, or a bar. The function of the cat pack is mostly just friends hanging out, but also serves as protection for each other. Quite often the ” well meaning ” dominate female of the group ( usually a lesbo) ends up ruining the chances of nearly any male, or group of males who approaches said group.
My wing man and I stepped up to this fly girl and her ugly girl friend, but their cat pack buddies cock blocked us. ...
by Mister Tom November 16, 2011
Vanity Fair
Fashion’s Most Angry Fella
When John Fairchild, the tyrannical, mischievous editor in chief of Women’s Wear Daily and founder of W magazine, stepped down from his Fairchild Publications throne, in 1997, it was supposed to be a clean break. Fifteen years later, at the age of 85, the onetime terror of the fashion industry is still stirring the pot. At his chalet in Gstaad, where Fairchild lives with his wife, Jill, Meryl Gordon hears about his tumultuous reign, his legendary feuds, and the latest objects of his ire.
He is widely credited with coming up with such catchy phrases as “hot pants,” “walkers,” the “social moth” (for Jerry Zipkin), and “the Cat Pack,” a takeoff on the Rat Pack.
February 27, 2015
John B. Fairchild Dies at 87
By Mort Sheinman
NEW YORK — John B. Fairchild, who transformed Women’s Wear Daily from a trusty but tedious trade publication into a provocative, powerful and whimsical international force — along the way pioneering the coverage that would become standard fixtures of modern-day fashion and celebrity journalism — died Friday morning at age 87 after a long illness.
Fairchild created nicknames for people and places that became part of the industry’s lexicon:
It was Fairchild who called a certain segment of society the BP (the Beautiful People) and a segment of that segment the Cat Pack. There was even a Cat Pack Kiss, in which the lips never touched flesh, only air.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWorkers/People • Saturday, February 28, 2015 • Permalink

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