25Jul 2017

How Does A Canine Fashion Designer Create Dog Clothes?

Maria Leindecker

Any dog owner can clothe her dog in a coat without considering where or how the coat was produced but what’s really involved in a creating actual fashion for dogs? A fashion designer is someone who loves to study fashion trends, sketch designs, plan and select materials, and oversee the entire production process. It’s the same whether we’re producing dog clothes or human clothes. Did you know it takes many weeks if not months for a garment to go from the design stage until it reaches the store? 

Working with the arts takes inspiration that can come from many sources. If you’re creating high quality clothes from design to conception, you have to love studying fashion magazines and watching fashion shows to see the newest fashion trends in Paris, Milan and New York. Having lived in Paris, I am no stranger to  glamour and fashion–and I love to study it! I know what looks exotic, smart or elegant on a woman or a dog. My favorite human clothing brand is Chanel because Karl Lagerfeld designs the garments to be wearable and practical and they’re always en pointe. In fact, I love to include current fashion elements in my own custom dog clothing designs.

Second, I sketch a lot of garments and models of what I create. When the creative stamina is strong and 25 different dog coat design ideas pop into my head, you’ve got to store them somewhere so I sketch everything in books to be able to retrieve them later. From there I make final choices on form, shape, skirt length as well as button colors, wool textures, silk ribbon embellishments, etc. These sketches have notes, too. I often listen to remarks from people around me, clients, people who visit my website as well as my assistant. I take many of my garments to show the instructors at the Baum School of Art for their input, too. 

Premium dog clothes always start with professionally drawn patterns. Drawn by hand, each pattern and its alterations, are again, time consuming. After all, a quality custom dog garment is based on the quality of the pattern. It needs to be precise and symmetrical or your end result garment will be lacking style, precision and creativity.

After we call in the canine models to take their measurements, we make our last alterations to the dog clothing patterns. We then purchase all the supplies and I’m often running to the ends of the earth for all the perfect little materials and accents. Eventually we find find the most exquisite raw materials and everything we’ll need to make the cute little dog clothes, the personalized dog coat, puppy sling, dog dress or even a fancy harness. Every product of ours starts with a thought and a pattern!

After rounding up the dog clothes materials, we are ready to make the first prototype. Once we get the pet wear look we want, we construct the final garment and then decide on the final embellishments. Sometimes we choose to personalize or customize the dog garment with an embroidered name. This process often takes a lot of time and I often study some more or find inspiration to make these final touches. You can never rush design so being patient is important in producing a quality garment or look. Often I change my mind and have to buy more supplies and trim until I get it just right. A garment should never be over-decorated, but it should be correct. 

After production is complete, the item arrives in our online store and also to physical pet stores in our region. Here on our website and in this blog, the new client can be taught how hand-made pet apparel differs from a mass produced garment purchased from a big box pet store. Designing custom dog clothes is truly an art and involves passion and free flowing creative stamina. Everyone loves art and women love pretty things. You could see the premium quality in our photography and you could also get a sense of our product quality by studying what kind of dog clients shop here. We have been known to serve many sophisticated dog owners and the latest fashion trends and many elements of fashion design concepts are present in all our pet apparel. I really like that aspect of the canine fashion design because I am able to dress each pet dog (or cat) and incorporate my signature style into each of the pet garments—Sassy Dog Fashions creations that you will truly enjoy seeing on your pet.