Have you ever wondered how to grow your following on Instagram? How to secure more views on your social media content? Have you ever looked at the baby-faced teenagers online who seem to have totally cornered their market and felt a twinge of inadequacy? How did they get so good at it so quickly? Well, prepare yourself for a blow. There is an increasing number of celebrity dogs and cats spanning the social networks who promote products, advise their followers and have even launched their own successful brands: the #petinfluencers. Oh yes, my friends. We have just been professionally outmanoeuvred by four legged furry things. Pass the gin.
Canine fashion is increasingly on the up and there even seems to be a crossover of designers from human to dog lines: Temellini Dog A Porter is an “Italian sartorial experience” for dogs and the brainchild of a master of his craft who worked in the industry for 25 years for greats such as Armani and Bottega Veneta. The dog line includes woollen coats, hooded jackets, striped t-shirts and cashmere polos all in exclusive designs and made-to-order for each pooch according to size and breed. The prices are, unsurprisingly, not to be sniffed at.
After even the most cursory investigation, it is clear that there is a huge array of canine couture available. Often, it would seem that the driver for the creation of the collections was the owner (who worked in fashion) of a pooch bemoaning the availability of luxury, stylish items for their dog. Towards the higher end, there’s Moncler Genius’s collaboration with Poldo Dog Couture, founded by the Italian brand’s own creative director of window design Maurizio Azzimonti. They began Poldo in 2016 and it is staggering to note that the image of the dog in the Poldo down jacket is one of the most popular on Moncler’s Instagram page.
Another example of a luxury dog fashion brand is Very Important Puppies launched by Sabrina Albarello in September of 2018 with a small collection, after noticing the lack of cool clothing choices for her chihuahua, Boo Boo. Along with her sister, the collection included Sherpa jackets, velour zipper hoodies and vinyl raincoats. Jealous yet?
So who’s responsible for the burgeoning interest in dog apparel and why? (And why didn’t we get on the bandwagon earlier?) Apparently, we can thank millennials, who are now in their late 20s and early 30s, and their unwillingness to settle down and have kids. They are putting greater focus onto pets and treating them as if they were children and spending money and investing time into dressing them smartly. In the past 12 months, 14% of millennials have made luxury purchases within the pet-care category, a figure which is even more striking when you consider that only 18% have made a luxury purchase on children’s items.
The #petinfluencers and their human puppeteers will no doubt have London Fashion Week inked into their uber-stylish calendars. The week – which runs 13 – 17 September 2019 showcases the best of British design; featuring catwalk shows, presentations, the Designer Showrooms, and achingly glamorous events organised by terrifyingly stylish people throughout the week. As people continue to anthropomorphise (and chuck serious money at) their pets, and this new reverence and interest in canine fashion, we wonder how long it will be until the #petinfluencers have their way and there is a dog-version of London Fashion Week too? (Will the catwalks still be called catwalks?) Now that’s something we would love to see. And, importantly, would the models include Saluki Waterhouse? Agyness (Great) Deyn? Sorry. Couldn’t resist.