This past weekend I went to two different pet fashion events in New York City. It’s always interesting to see what is shown and how things evolve over time. If I had to sum up the overall theme as a pet fashion trend, it would be INNOVATION.

The first event was the student pet fashion show at FIT. This is the show where the students are on the stage

Ada Nieves and me - note that Ada painted our logo on this dress... a woman of MANY talents... was a judge at the FIT Pet Fashion Show

Ada Nieves and me – note that Ada painted our logo on this dress… a woman of MANY talents… was a judge at the FIT Pet Fashion Show

with their creations for the first time. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to get to this pinnacle in the curriculum. I’ve gone through many of the classes and I can tell you they are challenging, inspiring, and rewarding all wrapped into one. It is a unique program unlike any other in the world. Students come from all over just to learn from the best in the industry. I’ve commuted from Chicago on many occasions. While on stage, the students are also judged for Gold, Silver, and Bronze honors. Three judges including International Association of Pet Fashion Professionals member, Ada Nieves, who was the FIRST graduate of the program, were tasked with this job.

Check out our YouTube playlist for the FIT 6th Annual Pet Fashion Show. I was lucky enough to get the pet fashion show itself. Plus, you’ll find interviews with Kris Lynch, FIT Pet Fashion Facilitator; Joan Volpe, Managing Coordinator for FIT Continuing Studies; Robin Meyer, FIT Instructor, and Joan Chiverton, FIT Instructor (who happened to make the fabulous artwork featured on-screen with the FIT mascot, Bebe, by the way). Additionally, you’ll find several of the students that were featured in the show.

What pet fashion trend did they find? Innovation, of course. FIT believes in fashion as a lifestyle and as a part of us. As commented upon by the staff of FIT, you’ll find that we have gone from the glitz and glam of many years ago to thought-provoking concepting to integrate pets into our lives as family members.

One of the winners was Karine Ng of Central Park Pups who has created a collection that has a coat, collar, and harness all-in-one so that you

Chewie in Central Park Pups

Chewie in Central Park Pups

can easily put your pup in his/her outfit before heading out for a walk. The functionality wasn’t the only thing, but she also used nano-technology in the fabric so that it’s anti-microbial.

Another student, Nicole Wilson, approached designs from a conscious, sensible standpoint. Her vision is to not only be fashion forward, but mindful of Mother Earth. She incorporated materials that were completely recycled / upcycled in her designs.

I love this show because it gives you a glimpse into the minds of people that have pets and are really thinking – and being challenged to stretch. Keep an eye out for even more innovative approaches in years to come.

As a complete side note, I want to give a sincere round of applause to the event program team that was also student-run. Much is to be said about an event that is well-timed and organized. These folks did an excellent job. Kudos!

The second event I went to was Celebrity Catwalk Paws In The City.  Upwards of sixteen designers were featured in this fundraising pet fashion centric event. Jennifer Bartok of Celebrity Catwalk single-handedly puts this event together that attracts VIPs of the pet fashion world. The VIP reception about a week beforehand is an event attended by many of the New York well-to-do. International Association of Pet Fashion Professionals was honored to be a part of this event and supported through back-cover program advertising.

While there was no lack of bling, feathers, tutus, and other ornamentation, there was something innovative that also stood out. That was the Light Up Fashions. While there are practical uses like standing out at night if you’re walking your pooch, this was a new approach to bling because it wasn’t just lights in an outfit, but lights that were in a design themselves. The lights were dimmed and the pups on the catwalk (errr…. dogwalk) had lights that would dance to the music or stand out themselves. For a viewing of the event, check out the YouTube playlist for this event here.

Now, I’m off to BlogPaws in just a short while! There is so much more I could write about, but there are only so many hours in the day. Check out our photo albums on FaceBook and get a great complete overview.