The proliferation of dog clothing and accessories speaks to changing attitudes within the luxury market
The fashion industry at large has been slow to accommodate the needs of the general public, as inclusive sizing is somehow still a rarity. Sizing for people, at least. It seems that now, terriers might have more options than plus-size people in the world of high fashion. Designer dog apparel is quickly proliferating, and its styles are elevating beyond what you might find at Petco: premier luxury pieces by Moncler, Moschino, Prada, and Versace, to name a few. And if you’re left unsatisfied by the existing slew of fashion weeks each year, Pitti Immagine Uomo has announced Pitti Pets, a trade show that, in essence, will function as a fashion week for dogs, featuring 15 international brands at the forefront of canine designs. It will, of course, showcase items that “satisfy different moods and styles.”
The offerings of these brands aren’t limited to puffers and ponchos for pooches: Hermès’s capsule collection boasts a $1,100 wooden bowl; Anya Hindmarch’s Dog Poo Bag Charms run for $215; Dior’s $450 calfskin-lined collar goes with accessories from their menswear collection; and Versace’s Barraco Pet Bed (size large) costs $1,350. One pup even went as far as to wedge itself in the window of Miu Miu’s flagship store in Central London, hoping the “slip” might warrant a harness on the house.
Doggie design just might be the newest frontier in fashion. Can a sexy silhouette compliment the plump sausage body of a bulldog? How can you make a sweater that will keep a whippet warm, and accent the length of its body? Will the work of an innovative human stylist translate to the sensibilities of a rottweiler, or would that require a new skill set entirely? What does what your pet is wearing say about you? Does your pooch carry the playful nature of Collina Strada, or is she more suited to the classic utilitarianism of Prada?
The impulse to treat our animals better than we treat ourselves feels almost innate. After all, the wrongs we’ve committed are far worse in impact than the occasional shoe they chew. This trend has populated pop culture far beyond style. Dog food is fast becoming dog cuisine. Document’s fashion editor Diana Choi’s mutt eats better than I do most nights; the free-range chicken, broth-cooked rice, and vegetable mix that make up his meals are more balanced and delectable than my microwave burritos. Many restaurants have even generated special menus just for pets. (The Pollito Con Papas at West Village’s La Contenta Oeste actually looks really good). People are paying premiums for dog psychics. Maybe you laughed at the Facebook your mom made for your dog a decade ago, but now TikTok is dense with canine influencers, racking up tens of thousands of followers and even scoring sponsorships of their own. If ever there was a time to invest in your dog, it’s now.