With many cities becoming more and more dog friendly, Millennials are pushing away from womenswear fashion for themselves and tripping up over stylish outfits for their pooches. It seems that as the millennial generation have grown up, they’ve also become dog obsessed and no leash, collar or coat is too much for Fido. Millennials are now in the 20’s to late 30’s age range, one that has previously been synonymous with marriage and children. But this generation is putting off those traditions or choosing not to get married and have children altogether, choosing instead to focus their energy and attention on their pets. It’s ironic that the generation who is too often called selfish, self obsessed and entitled is actually channeling all their fashion budget into another being.
Growth In The Market
Only in the last five years or so have we seen a huge shift in trends when it comes to clothing for our four-legged friends. Five years ago it would have been difficult for any dog owner to push past the sea of embarrassing slogan t-shirts and basic acrylic sweaters. Now, new dog clothing designers are popping up into the market daily and existing designers are branching out into dog wear lines for the fashion conscious female dog moms. The controversial “furbaby” title given to their pooches by women who choose to have dogs over children has only helped further the influx of dog clothing. Similarly to moms who want to have co-ordinating outfits with their toddlers, so too do dog moms and so the phenomenon continues to grow. With each new fashion trend appearing in womenswear, a dog friendly option seems to go on the market almost overnight.
Moncler is certainly leading the way when it comes to dog clothing in the luxury market. Their collaboration with Poldo Dog Couture is about as Luxury as dogwear gets and their campaign during Milan Fashion Week in February saw queues wrapping double around the venue so fashion and dog lovers could see pooches prancing on the runway in high end puffer jackets. With a price tag of over $400 US Dollars it would only be one spoilt pup who could wear such an expensive jacket.
Following in Moncler’s footsteps, Sabrina Albarello decided to explore this relatively unexploited market with her brand of luxury dog wear, Very Important Puppies (V.I.P.) Focusing on streetwear styles, at V.I.P. you’ll find sherpa jackets, vinyl raincoats, hoodies and turtle necks between $160 and $202 US Dollars. They’ve also collaborated with other designers to allow for limited edition pieces as well as their line being picked up by Saks Fifth Avenue. Furthermore, it’s rumoured they may be opening a pop-up shop in New York so watch this space!
Images Via : Circus Studios
Growth of Kidswear Over Womenswear
And it’s not just dog clothing that millennials are choosing to spend their money on over clothes for themselves, it’s luxury kidswear too. Whether the fashion conscious are dog moms, dog dads or yummy mummies or cool daddies they all have one thing in common; they want their offspring to look just as chic as them! This humanization of our pups is also having an effect on technology sales, as more people want digital ways to check up on their pups when they’re home alone, want trackers incase their beloveds get lost or even DNA testing. Of course, alongside luxury dog clothing comes the luxury accessories, beds, leads, harnesses, hats, shoes and socks! Not to mention dog Prosecco, luxury pet health foods and interactive games to play with mans’ best friend. Goodbye, influencers, this time it’s all about petfluencers! According to Anatole, 14% of millennials treated their pets to a luxury product which isn’t far off the 18% of those who made luxury kids purchases.
But how did all of this come about? Why is it out of all the generations it’s millennials that have decided to delay marriage and kids? It’s very simple, it all comes down to expenses. It might seem like someone couldn’t possibly be worried about a cash flow problem if they’re spending upwards of $400 Dollars on a coat for their dog but this is in fact the case. Many millenials are considering the fact that they may never be able to afford to own a home and having children is an expensive investment too. Couple that with their crippling university debt and the lack of jobs even for qualified people and it appears that spoiling their pet is actually the least expensive option for many.
Another uptake is on the pet costume industry, with more and more pet owners choosing to dress up their pets in elaborate costumes for all the holiday seasons like never before. You only have to scroll through your Instagram feed once and you’re likely to see at least one image of a pooch or kitty cat looking adorable in costume. It’s also worth noting that in times gone by, pets were often seen as working animals, they provided a purpose other than for human companionship such as ridding the house of mice, or keeping foxes away. These days, pets are very much an integrated part of the family for most owners and so it’s easy to see why they would want to them to live their best life.
Article Commissioned by Mod'Art University of Shanghai