PARIS: Are pets becoming fashion icons? Some would say it’s nothing new – although it was previously limited to the dogs and cats of stars, and to petfluencers, the animals popular on social networks.
Take Doug The Pug from Nashville, for example. Followed by 3.7 million users on Instagram – almost as many as French human influencer Lena Situations, a fashion favourite – he is as cute as he is stylish.
Now, luxury fashion houses are working on designing complete collections for pooches, who can now step out looking just as stylish as their owners.
Nothing is too good for man’s best friend, and luxury brands have understood this. Today, there are countless companies offering complete ranges for pets, with stylish, luxurious, and sometimes over-the-top pieces, often at exorbitant prices.
And the most surprising thing is that these creations are perfectly in line with current trends. Fleeces, crochet, tartan, and ugly Christmas sweaters are among the options available to pets, much to their delight… or that of their owners.
This is evidenced by the house of Gucci, which, last year, unveiled a whole collection for dogs and cats.
And it’s not just a few random items here and there – rather, it’s a whole range of clothing, accessories and household items, such as a mohair hat for €350 (RM1,630), a coat for €710, a bowl for €1,400, a set of travel bowls for €3,400, and a basket for €6,500.
Prada, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, Miu Miu, Barbour, Tiffany & Co, Celine and Christian Louboutin are some of the major labels that also offer permanent collections for pets, more specifically for dogs, which are one of fashion’s new prime targets.
And the trend seems to have gained further ground in the last few months, with products that look just like those proposed for men, women or children.
Dogs, cats and catwalks
In fact, today’s pet clothes and accessories are nothing like what has been seen in the past. They are directly inspired by the human clothing that the same luxury brands showcase every year on the fashion week runways.
Pitti Uomo, which kicked off men’s fashion week in Italy, introduced a new section dedicated entirely to clothes and accessories for pets, called Pittipets.
It wouldn’t even be surprising to soon see runway models accompanied by these faithful companions, in fully matching looks. You just have to visit the e-stores of the biggest luxury houses to note that the clothes proposed for dogs and cats are directly inspired by the catwalks.
There’s the famous flag sweater and a quilted jacket at Ralph Lauren, while Prada has a nylon down jacket with hood among items it says are inspired by models in the men’s and women’s collections.
A Monogram canvas dog carrier is presented as a revisited version of the classic Louis Vuitton bag, and Christian Louboutin has leashes directly inspired by its famous shoes. It’s enough to build an entire wardrobe for your dog.
Already well established, the trend has not finished growing, according to figures revealed by the “Guardian”, which reports that the global petwear market is expected to be worth US$7 billion (RM30 billion) by 2032, with an annual growth rate of 5%.
It’s a golden opportunity for established, expensive brands that have clearly found a new way to fur-ther diversify their business.