Perhaps the chandelier earrings have lost their lustre, or a once beloved bag no longer feels at home in your hand. If you’ve exhausted your capacity to personally accessorise, don’t fear — there’s an entire realm of luxury goods out there dedicated to the embellishment of your beloved animal companion. And it’s growing by the day.
Once a niche amusement of the rich and famous, luxury pet accessories now form a competitive retail category all their own. A new report forecasts the global pet accessories market will reach US$41.1 billion (AU$53 billion) by 2025, “driven by the emerging pet loving culture worldwide made hugely popular by media coverage on celebrities and their furry friends”.
There’s no denying the role star power has played in our rising affection for high-fashion animal products. Though some argue the trend has been here for years, its boom could be traced back to a certain socialite and hotel heiress, Paris Hilton. In 2009, Hilton reportedly spent $419,000 on a bespoke “doggy mansion” — a two-storey bubblegum-pink structure fitted with air-conditioning, a wrought iron fence and a chandelier — and was an early adopter of the “pooch in purse” aesthetic, toting her chihuahua, Tinkerbell, around town (swathed in crystal-encrusted collars and pink shearling coats) in a designer carrier. Sartorial pet appreciation has only grown from there, with Ariana Grande’s and Lady Gaga’s dogs both taking starring roles in Coach’s “Coach Pups” campaigns, for example.
Australia has one of the highest rates of animal ownership in the world, with a reported 61 per centof households caring for pets. Last year a pandemic-induced lockdown only increased the desire for furry companionship. Now, with so many of our beloved pets making cameo Zoom appearances, there has never been a more suitable time to embrace the world of luxury pet retail.
The Tiffany & Co. pendant you cherish so dearly? It comes in a canine-worthy version. In fact, the high jewellery house produces an entire suite of elegant animal accessories, from sterling silver drinking bowls to the brand’s signature charm tags. Hermès, whose equestrian roots remain firmly entrenched within its design DNA, also provides for your pup. Its Canine Collection features “codes and craftsmanship, including full grain leather and saddle stitch, to accompany the rider’s second best friend”, brought to life in the elegant Goucho dog leash and Rocabar dog collar.
On the move? You shouldn’t be the only one travelling in style, and thanks to Louis Vuitton’s Monogram canvas dog carrier (water and scratch resistant, of course), you don’t have to be.
On the subject of ready-to-wear, Versace’s iconic Medusa print adorns an array of pint-size T-shirts and raincoats, and when it all gets too much, its Barocco print dog bed provides luxurious respite from the physical exertions of the day.
For some, luxury pet accessories are merely an extension of their own high fashion wardrobes. For others, an opportunity to dip their paws into designer fashion and take home a piece of the brands they love. Whatever the motivation, the Valentino Garavani Rockstud pet collar should do the trick.