Oscar Newman, Susan Lanci, and Hartman & Rose are some of the top names in the fashion world – the DOG fashion world that is! And there’s many more in this adorable arena of chien couture.
All the best-dressed pooches these days would look just as at home on the runway as Kate Moss or Tyra Banks. But how did this happen? How did dogs evolve from wolves to fashion models?
When did humans start to clothe their beasts, and why…?
Did it go back to Ancient Egypt? Probably, as that civilization started around 3150 BC. The Egyptians believed cats to be magical and adorned them with jewelry, but there’s not a lot of evidence that they clothed them.
For that to occur we speed forward to Medieval times. Knights riding out to war in winter needed protection for their horses from the cold – and missiles! They also draped clothes on their mighty steeds to show off their traditional colors. These special outfits usually matched what the knights were wearing, too. Very chic!
Over time, these mighty warriors transformed into the military and law enforcement organizations we see today – and they also have animal team members that need protective or signature clothing.
Dogs that work for us evolved from the wolf to help humans by herding their sheep or protecting their camps. But although many still toil away happily, most are family members who sleep in our beds and snuggle with us on the couch. Evolution has gone one step further!
And what happens when we treat them like family members? We take care of them like family members…and do we spoil them? Oh yes!
We feed them expensive food, we take them for expert hair cuts, we pamper them with luxury pet accessories, and we pay to put them in high-end pet hotels if we ever have to leave them. Oh my, what would the Medievals say?
But while we may have started out clothing our dogs with a simple snug jacket for a cold winter day, a growing number of us seek out designer-inspired dog clothes and luxury pet accessories these days.
So Who Buys Designer Dog Clothes?
But who are we? Most of us are fashionistas and clothe our dogs to reflect ourselves and our tastes. We simply want the best for us – and our pets.
It’s so fun – and so cheering to see especially in the strange times we are living in today. The pandemic might even be fueling our desire to pamper our pets more as we lead a more inward-looking life.
And we’re not afraid to pay for it.
A recent article in Pet Age, a media brand that has covered the pet industry for the last 45 years, quotes Ashley Harris (founder and CEO of Bark Fifth Avenue, an upscale pet fashion boutique) explaining that even the pandemic is not slowing down the popularity of pet fashion.
“Needless to say, 2020 has been quite the year,” she says. “Routines have been upended, we have ZOOM meetings and a never-before-seen lack of toilet paper. However, one thing is for sure and that is pets have never been more fashionable!”
The very informative article goes on to reveal that:
- * More than a third of all pet owners are Millennials
- * Millennials have overtaken Baby Boomers as the biggest pet-owning generation
- * Millennials are not afraid to make full use of their spending power – especially when those purchases are a way to show their love for their beloved pets
- * And the author maintains that as consumers spend more on their pets than ever before, and Millennials lead all generations in doing so, it is becoming evident that pet clothing is a category seeing a resurgence in popularity
And that’s great news for the pet fashion industry.
Many gorgeous pet boutiques all over the country will happily supply our wants, needs, and desires for designer-inspired dog clothes. And online stores abound.
Chloe says they’re not all as special as hers, though! And she should know!
Chloe’s Cozy Collection started as a love letter to her from her doting parents, Lori and Ed Kaye. Chloe is a Pomeranian who loves to model and wear beautiful clothing.
“I love designer fashion myself,” says Lori, “and although there are pet clothing websites out there, none of them fulfilled my desire for unique, handmade, affordable must-haves for Chloe.”
So the Kayes took things into their own hands and decided to open their own store to help other furbaby moms and dads dress their babies in the kind of designer-inspired dog clothes they love, and spoil them with luxury pet accessories that are also unique.
“We want our customers’ dogs to be the best-dressed in their neighborhoods,” Lori continues. “And that has become our motto! We knew there was a market for our items but we never could have imagined the number of people who are just as crazy about spoiling their dogs as we are.
“Getting calls, texts, and letters from our customers has been such a highlight for us. People are so excited to dress up their dogs and we love the pictures that our customers send us. We want to start a Pet of the Month club soon so keep sending them in all you doggie moms and dads out there because we are probably going to present a prize for each winner!”
“I Feel We Must Make Their Lives Spectacular”
One Millennial whose dogs could win any prize is Kelly Wilson from Rhode Island. Kelly has been a fashion-follower all his life and only wants the best for himself and his babies.
“I have two beautifully spoiled chihuahuas, Gynger and Malibu,” says Kelly. “These little girls are my entire life. I love dressing them in designer dog clothes, adorning them with gorgeous collars, and letting them rest on custom-made beds.
“Gynger has a Chanel dog collar and sleeps on a custom pink-lace Dior bed. Malibu has a Louis Vuitton collar and the same monogrammed bed.
“When we go out they love being carried in their Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM bag, and at times a Hermes Birkin. These pups are only with us for a short time in our lives, so I feel we must make their lives spectacular.”
Is it for the dogs…or is it for us? We may never know. And it doesn’t matter. If it makes us happy it’s a wonderful thing – and worth every penny.
So there is our brief history of humans clothing animals and how we got to today where the annual New York Pet Fashion Show presents runway themes, haute couture, and best in show. There’s glitz, glamour, excitement, photographers, the latest fashion trends, and designers from all over the world.
Pet fashion isn’t going anywhere – except right on the back of your perfect pooch!!!!
Chloe would love to hear your thoughts on this. Why do you love designer-inspired dog clothes and luxury pet accessories? What excites you about seeing your dog runway ready? Comment in the box below and let’s get to know each other. If you love this post, please share it so others can comment, too. Thanks!
Chloe got her friend Wendy Hollandsworth to help her write her blog. The ideas are all Chloe’s but Wendy can type quicker. She knows a bit about dogs, too. She is a freelance copywriter kenneled at Dog Copywriter and specializes in optimized blog posts, website content articles, product descriptions, and sales emails. When she’s not creating content or driving sales for someone she’s usually taking her three dogs, Finn, Meg, and Ziggy Stardust, to the dog park or making them a home-cooked meal! Sometimes her husband gets one too! Visit her kennel any time if you need help with dog copy for your business.