Plus-Sized Fashions For Large Breed Dogs
When people think of pet fashion they typically think of small dogs decked out in lavish attire walking a runway or being toted around in posh custom bags ala Paris Hilton. But, that is changing – in a big way!
With dogs (83.3 million) outnumbering children (74.3 million) in households and continuing to grow, this trend isn’t slowing down anytime soon. People are opting out of having children altogether or downsizing the number of children that they plan to have. Couple that with the fact that people are starting families later in life and instead adopting dogs, and you have a spike in dog ownerships – which includes dogs of all sizes.
In recent years, designers have started to focus more efforts on producing stylish garments and accessories for medium and large sized dogs. The breeds represented on the most popular runway shows represent a variety of shapes and sizes, expanding to include frocks to fit Pitbulls to Great Danes.
Small breeds make up about 25 percent of all dog breeds combined. Pet fashion-related companies are finding an opportunity to increase their revenues by catering to the plus-sized segment; much in the way human fashion houses have become more inclusive of a diverse size range to meet consumer demands. Plus-size models are donning apparel of all types on the runways. This movement is also taking place on pet fashion runways.
Related: Top Hoppin’ Pet Fashion for Rabbits
One of those requesting sophisticated outfits from designers is Morgan Williams of New York who has had Leonbergers for over 20 years. She went to an event and saw dogs in outfits and reached out to a designer to make something specific for her boy to wear to a fashion event benefitting a shelter. She entered the contest, had a blast, and the rest is history.
Since then she’s met and worked with other designers, done high fashion events in Manhattan during fashion week and is asked to do runway shows quite regularly. Her boys have even appeared in movies, TV shows, and done theater.
Williams said, “It has been so much fun for us because I spend time and energy on my boys… they get to socialize with new friends and enjoy the limelight… I also have made new friends and have fun dressing up to match my boys.”
Look for more people like Morgan to boost this trend for larger dogs to get their just representation in the pet fashion world. And we love to see dogs of all shapes and sizes being represented on the runway!
Laurren Darr is a lifelong pet fashionologist and founder of International Association of Pet Fashion Professionals. Her book, Pet Fashion Industry Patterns, publishes in the spring of 2017.
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