If you thought the market for fashion accessories had reached its saturation point, think again. There might be only so many shoes and handbags a person can buy, but there are many little extras that can be brought to your look with one little four-legged accessory - a dog.
People spending money on their pets has long been a fashionable trend - from Madonna's pitbull to Paris Hilton's schnauzer - and the global market is quickly reacting to the demand of pet-owners wanting to pamper their pooch.
Fast fashion got its claws in when H&M launched a capsule accessories and dogwear collection, with Ikea fast on its heels with an expanded range of practical and lifestyle goodies for hounds. But it isn't all mass market, as the profusion of doggie styles from names including Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, and Burberry shows. You can even buy vintage dogwear from Lucytags.com, hoodies from Girlonthestreet.com, and Fifi & Romeo in Los Angeles produces hand-knitted canine cashmeres.
To further explain the dog phenomenon, and fight "doggist attitudes," comes DQ. A canine quarterly from Brit journalist Toby Rose, with contributions in the most recent issue from Bruce Weber, Goldfrapp, and Amy Winehouse, DQ is bowing in such locations as Harrods and Colette. Further expanding the celebrity dog notion, Rose awarded a "Palme Dog" at Cannes to Moses the dog from the film Dogville for the best screen performance by a canine.
Assouline recently published Chic et Chien written by François Baudot which explores a pictorial history of dogs and style, while UK journalist and fashion historian Judith Watt is currently penning two tomes about the relationship between dogs and men and dogs and women, respectively. The books, tentatively due later in the year, examine the anecdotal stories behind the wonderful images of dogs and their famous, and often infamous, owners, running the gamut from Gloria Swanson to Picasso to Jane Birkin to Madonna, and establishes that, like handbags and hemlines, dog breeds also go in and out of fashion. For now, any breed is man (and woman's) best accessory and friend.