Top pet fashion trends to watch in 2014
Friday, January 17, 2014
One year has wrapped, and another has just begun. There are always predictions on what the new year will bring. And, in that spirit, here are the pet fashion predictions for 2014 from the International Association of Pet Fashion Professionals.
1. Harnessing the bling
2013 brought in a conversation of controversy with pet tattoos. Some people love them; others don't. But the bottom line is people are looking for more ways to make their pups stand out when taking them out on the town. Pet parents are looking for ways to express their personality in attention-getting ways.
Companies like Dazzle Pet with its bedazzled collars and harnesses and Orostani Couture with its incorporation of glam in its designs will be the kind of companies that you'll want to watch. You'll also continue to see a rise in the bling tattoo craze started by celebrity groomer Jorge Bendersky.
Bling is the thing. And pet entrepreneurs who find ways to incorporate it will find their wallets with more jing-a-ling-a-ling.
2. Bring on the big dogs
Prettying up your pint-sized pooch has gone on for years. But now it's time for the big dogs to have their day. Look for sizing of fashions to go beyond petite and dainty to bodacious and beautiful. This not only includes wearable fashion, but also stylish furniture, beds and accessories.
One of the absolute favorite designs at our Back-To-School Pet Fashion Show was the rocker glam look on a pit bull.
Smart designers will find innovative ways to ensure that they have a lineup that is fabulous for all sizes and breeds. The highest yields will be for those companies that figure out how to run with the big dogs instead of staying on the porch.
3. Pawsh personal pet care and pampering
Creating the serene in-home spa experience has been a trend for a while with humans. You can't watch a home-buying or remodeling show without noticingthat it's expected to have a full posh bath with a master suite. Along with that suite are all of the high-end soaps, cosmetics, shampoos, conditioners and other personal care products.
The pampered experience is now trickling down to our furry family members. Pet parents aren't just looking for a dime-store, just-get-my-dog-clean experience. They want their pets to feel as embraced, pampered and fulfilled as they do when they enjoy that down time. From cleaning and skin care to pawdicures, people will embrace this trend with enthusiasm.
Watch companies like Dog Fashion Spa that have spent years in development to create fragrances and coat, eye, nail and paw care products that aren't just amazing to use, but also have packaging worthy of any pawsh pup. And, to keep those pretty pads and nails looking their best, products like Pawz Dog Boots will continue to gain popularity.
Don't be surprised if big cosmetic and department stores and spas start having pooch pampering sections along with promotional human/pup pampering events.
4. Functional meets fashionable
More and more pet parents are looking for convenience without sacrificing style. You know how it is: Just when it starts pouring buckets of rain, Fido needs to run outside and do his thing — and he needs to go now. You have to deal with a harness, a leash and a raincoat. Getting everything on in the record time that you need to is like being in the midst of a Rube Goldberg contraption.
Cue fashionality (a new word that combines fashion with practicality). A recent example of this phenomenon is a design by Central Park Pups. They have a product that combines the leash, harness and coat all into one proprietary piece. Fido is literally ready to go in a few seconds flat. It's so fast that you hardly even realize what just happened when you see it done.
Companies that see pet parents in their crazy, hectic everyday lives and meet their demands with smart, easy solutions are going to be on the rise and in the black on their spreadsheets.
5. Pack your pooch
Traveling with your pet has come en vogue. Be on the lookout for more products that will cater to this pet-setting crowd. Just as business travelers have changed travel so they have conveniences abound, pet parents will look for products making their lives easier. It's no different than having to take a stroller, toys, snacks, drinks and all the other necessities you need when you have a toddler.
Items need to be travel-size. Products need to be portable, lightweight and easily moved. Remember when suitcases didn't have wheels and were made of steel (or at least they seemed like they were)? Those days are over. But getting through security lines, waiting at the airport, taking a road trip or train ride all have their challenges when you have Fido in tow.
Paw-rents don't want their fur babies treated like a cargo and need solutions. Companies that address these practical needs in a fashionable way, will be the ones in the fast lane.
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