Behind the explosive trade in designer pet accessories – WWD

Talk about barking in the right tree.

A growing number of leading luxury brands and retailers are capitalizing on a booming business with designer pet accessories, a nascent but growing universe that already covers everything from black marble dog dishes Saint Laurent from Thom Browne striped leashes to minimalist Prada raincoats and Versace dog beds. velvet with baroque patterns.

Since dipping a paw in the pet category at the end of 2019, Ssense has seen sales soar 95% in 2021 from 2020, fueled by Millennials spending more money on their dogs, according to Brigitte Chartrand, vice-president of women’s clothing purchases at Montreal e-commerce.

A canine raincoat from Prada.

“Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a big shift towards consumer lifestyle products in general, with more consumers working from home or in hybrid work models,” she explained. “Almost 70% of Ssense employees are Millennials and ahead of launch in 2019, we also saw first-hand the growing emphasis on pets in our pet-friendly offering. “

Chartrand noted that “the identifiable brand always performs well on women’s and men’s wear, such as Burberry and Versace prints” and it “translates easily into pet wear and often resonates with buyers.” .

Spot such items as the jeweled Prada dog collars with its revealing triangular logo, the natural bridle leather dog collars and tawny stripes from Hermès, and the Marine Serre denim harnesses printed with its signature crescent brand. moon.

The global pet products market, excluding food, is expected to grow by more than $ 10 billion between 2020 and 2025, when it is expected to reach $ 36.89 billion, according to Euromonitor International.

“We see opportunities in the pet accessories category and continue to evolve the design and communication approach for this vertical industry,” said Rodrigo Bazan, CEO of Thom Browne, who joined the company. for fall 2016 with a large canine offer which included the Hector Browne V-neck sweater, a tribute to the dog of the creator and muse of the brand.

Thom Browne dog sweater

Thom Browne’s iconic Hector sweater.

Browne’s widespread use of animal themes – right down to the included dachshund handbags – has resulted in a “successful and desirable category of pets for our business,” Bazan told WWD. “The harmony of the two has proven, season after season, to be a growing core of the brand alongside accessories and ready-to-wear.”

Browne sells its full line of pet accessories online, in its stores and through specialty retailers around the world.

Like many brands, Dsquared2 entered the category quite recently, collaborating with Milan-based Poldo Dog Couture on a collection that includes logo hoodies, jackets, vests with branded patches and raincoats. , as well as leashes and bandanas.

“We saw this as a real opportunity and took it very seriously,” designers Dean and Dan Caten told WWD in an email interview, citing an enthusiastic consumer response since the initial launch in September 2020. “With this collection, streetwear becomes comfortable, urban and luxurious and we were very happy to make our dogs and friends true fashion gurus, by launching the second edition of the collection this year.

The Catens said designer brands are bringing a new level of quality and style to the pet clothing and accessories market. “The items in the collection are made with tough and versatile materials, keeping the welfare of the dog wearing them at the center,” they said.

Valentino has teamed up with pet influencers including Bichon Tori and cat duo Taro + Zippo to bring awareness to his Valentino Garavani Rockstud Pet project, presented in October 2020 with a selection of bags that can be personalized with a portrait of any animal by artist Riccardo Cusimano, with the product line “exceeding expectations,” according to a spokesperson for the Roman fashion house.

Rockstud Pet Valentino Tote

Valentino’s Rockstud Pet line features hand-painted animal portraits.
Courtesy of Valentino

To meet the “popular demands and needs of pet owners,” the Valentino Garavani line of accessories has expanded to include backpacks, travel bags and tote bags, as well as sweaters. , hoodies, collars, leashes and pet waste bag holders, the latter items scalloped with metal studs. Recently, the brand created a pop-up in Japan dedicated to pet accessories, and a caravan in the United States.

“The project will now continue online and in selected stores with a wider range of products. We expect a constant increase in turnover from these products, in line with the general trend of the world market, ”said the spokesperson for Valentino.

Retailers cite consumer interest in pet accessories from well-known brands and luxury houses, as well as specialty pet brands.

Selfridges launched a small line of pet products last August and has so far focused on independent, more sustainable brands.

Selfridges Pet Accessories

Selfridges ran a campaign with the Battersea Animal Rescue Charity with pet clothing.
Courtesy of Selfridges

“We work with smaller companies such as Lish, Kintails and Cheshire & Wain, all designed and made in the UK,” said Eleanor Gregory, home and gift buyer at the UK retailer. “Lish in particular continues to be one of our best-selling brands, with exclusive designs and lines. We are also expanding our luxury range with brand curation.

Selfridges tested a small line of pet accessories in August 2020 in response to the increased number of pet owners during the lockdown.

“We initially worked with a handful of brands, but sales were strong, peaking as Christmas approached,” said Gregory. “Gifts continue to be the primary driver for pets, with clothing and toys performing the best. Since last year, we have increased our purchases by more than 30 percent.

Chartrand at Ssense cited a healthy and growing demand for pet collars, leashes and outerwear. “As we’ve seen in other categories, consumers want to buy products that offer balanced quality with compelling design details. From food containers to decorate Boo Oh to extravagant Pets So Good niches, brands are pushing the boundaries with cutting-edge products, ”she said.

According to her, both brands specializing in dogs and luxury fashion houses have their own territory: the former for more technical products like serving dishes and dog houses of different sizes; the latter to allow pet owners to reflect “their individual style, brand loyalty and their dog’s personality through clothing and accessories”.

Collina Strada for Sense offers pet clothing such as this Collina Strada style.

“We’re always aiming to innovate and push our offering across departments to feature established brands alongside emerging designers, and we’ve taken the same approach with Ssense pet clothing. Our buyers worked with emerging talent who weren’t necessarily designing pet clothing at the time to order collections exclusive to 032c, Ashley Williams, Marine Serre, Collina Strada and Stutterheim, ”she said.

Chartrand noted that nearly 80% of Ssense’s audience is between the ages of 18 and 34, “with this demographic increasingly spending on their pets.”

Italian fashion label Sunnei, which shows up during Milan Fashion Week, is the latest to enter the fray, offering a range of dog hoodies, t-shirts and trench coats, many of which are in bold stripes. and all with a clearly visible mark.

The vanity of his campaign is the pet selfie, with a corgi, French bulldog, dachshund, and Weimaraner among the breeds caught red-handed.

Sunnei dog clothes

Striped t-shirt by Sunnei.

And thanks to Moschino, dogs can now eat from a couture-brand ceramic bowl.

Last week Moschino said his creative director Jeremy Scott took Moschino classics, including biker jackets, and “reinterpreted them for the stylish pet.”

The Moschino Pets collection includes 14 items of clothing, as well as accessories such as collars and leashes, sold on the brand’s website, in Moschino boutiques and department stores, including Selfridges.

Moschino dog dish

The new Moschino Pet collection includes a ceramic food bowl.


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