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
This past year brought in a conversation of controversy with pet tattoos. Some people love them. Some people 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 that have be-dazzled collars and harnesses and Orostani Couture that incorporates glam in their designs will be the kind of companies that you’ll want to watch. Not to be left behind, you’ll continue to see a rise in the bling tattoo craze started by celebrity groomer Jorge Bendersky.
Bling is the thing. And, pet entrepreneurs that 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 stylish furniture, beds, and accessories.
One of the absolute favorite designs at the International Association of Pet Fashion Professionals Back-To-School Pet Fashion Show in conjunction with Backer’s Total Pet Expo was the rocker glam look on pit bull.
Smart designers will find innovative ways to ensure that they have a line up 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 seeing that 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 creating fragrances and coat, eye, nail, and paw care products that aren’t just amazing to use, but 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.
And, 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. Literally, Fido is ready to go in a few seconds flat. It’s so fast; 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 look out 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. Do you 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 the 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!
About Lauren Darr
Lauren Darr is Founder of International Association of Pet Fashion Professionals. Since being owned at the age of five by her first rescue pug, White Pines Tuttie, she’s loved making her pets fashionistas in their own rights. From clothing to accessories, she’s been crazy about pet fashion since before it became cool. She has a corporate and consulting marketing background, which includes being a trade show marketing expert. In 2013, she co-authored “Pet Fashion Almanac 2014” with Ellen Zucker, which became a #1 Best Seller. Lauren believes you can never have too much fun at a pet fashion show and that there is no replacement for just the right accessory.