Top Dog Designers
Top Dog Designers
Jesse Lirette (Owner, LA Doggie Style) gives expert video advice on: Who are the top designers in dog apparel?; Why have so many clothing designers gotten into dog fashion?; What famous designers would you like to see making dog clothing? and more...
Who are the top designers in dog apparel?
That is a big question because there are so many and I constantly get advertisement or asked to be shown a line. I really don't that's hard to say who would be the top designers in the industry. But if you say something like "Gooby", "New York Dog" or if you say "Fox and Hound." There are so many and there all related to dogs. These are some of the biggest ones I have come up with. Big lines of t-shirts and hoodies and they're very popular. Anyone in the pet industry is going to know who these people are. But they would be our biggest, I think some of the biggest designers, and I can't even say all of them there are so many of them.
Why have so many clothing designers gotten into dog fashion?
Because they realize there is a market. There is a very big market there. And because so many people today are looking to dress their dogs, because they don't have children, that they, they will be willing to spend the money, and the designers are seeing this, so this is why their starting off slowly, you see a small trickle into these stores, you don't see a big line of them being made, but you do see a unique sweater, or you see a nice carrier, or a collar or leash, and then, you know for summer, there might be a unique t-shirt, and these are one of a kind, so when you put a Louise Vuitton t-shirt on your dog, people realize, oh, wow, you did spend some money.
What famous designers would you like to see making dog clothing?
I got a lot of designers, Marc Jacobs, for one. Jean Paul Gaultier, out of France, would be an awesome one, I'm sure he'd come up with some great dog clothing. There's a lot of European designers that I would love to see jump aboard and come out with some unique pieces. Granted, I'm sure I wouldn't be able to sell them in my store because I'm sure they would be way overpriced, but it would be unique to see them get into it, because if they do I'm sure they would come up with some beautiful pieces.
Are there any designers you wish didn't make dog clothing?
I'm a big dog person. I like big dogs and it's very hard to find big dog clothing. But I see there's a huge saturation in the toy dog industry. I mean, I love all dogs, but there's too many made for them and they repeat themselves. So I can't put my finger on one designer, because they all kind of have a line that mimics each other; too pastel, too pink, they tend to stay in that direction. I'd like to see more masculine colors, so we can really show off our male dogs instead of everything looking so female-based. That's, I think, one of the biggest issues, to my opinion I find it's one of the biggest issues; because I do have clients that come in and say "My dog looks too feminine, I want something." Sometimes it's hard to find something that actually I can put on them, if it's not camo, or it's not something that's sometimes a horrific color that is kind of questionable either way, so I think sometimes we get too cutesy. So I can't put my finger on one designer, I wouldn't - it wouldn't be fair because we all do it. Maybe I should start my own masculine designs.
Are there knock-offs in dog fashion?
Yes, there's knock-offs everywhere and I'm proud to say that we don't carry any knock-offs in our store. We don't do it because of copyright issues and things like that, all the legal mumbo-jumbo that goes on with that. But you can find them pretty much everywhere and anywhere you go. Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Beri -- I can keep going. There are knock-offs everywhere. Some are good and some are not so good. Nobody's going to come in and have the knock-off police try to get you for it or anything like that, but I think you're going to start seeing that a lot of stores are not going to be able to carry them because of copyright issues. And because of those copyright issues those dog stores will end up eventually getting in trouble. Again, like I said, it runs rampant and not only in the pet industry. It's everywhere.
What kind of customer is buying designer dog clothing?
If they have an endless income you're going to see dogs wearing more expensive clothing than I wear. I mean I look at some dogs walking down the street and I'm saying whoa! That little shirt right there is more than my outfit. I almost can probably go buy 10 more of these for myself and I know that because I am in that industry. But you have individuals that, lets use Paris Hilton again or celebrities. They are setting the trends for us and they have endless incomes. And they will go out and buy anything and everything for their dogs. They treat their dogs as their children. And this is great for the dog. I'm very happy to see the dogs getting this. But this is what's feeding the industry and this is what's going to keep the industry alive because what they set is what we are going to buy. And I don't think its going anywhere.
Are dog clothes expensive?
Dog clothes? No, they're not all expensive. They vary in pricing. I mean, if you're buying a t-shirt that has a logo on it you can spend sometimes ten dollars, or you can spend up to thirty dollars. Of if you're buying a sweater, the sweaters can range from twenty dollars to fifty dollars. Or if you're buying something that's hand-made, it could easily go up to seventy dollars. I'm using some price structure to give you a little bit of an idea, but if you start getting into the couture-like style, and your name brands, yes, you are going to get into the hundreds very easily, possibly the thousands. It just depends on what you want to put on your animal. And to be honest with you, some of the stuff that costs a thousand, you're buying brand. You're buying name. I'm not saying that that sweater is no different than a cashmere sweater from another designer that maybe will cost you fifty dollars. It still has the same effect on the animal. It's still to keep the dog warm. But also, it's setting status. Who are you? What do you want to put on your animal? That's really what it's based about.