You adore your dog. You buy your beloved pet tasty, organic treats and elegant carrier bags for when you go on long trips together. But the holidays are around the corner, and you’re wondering what you could possibly get Fido to express your love. Why not get the Birkin of dog collars? It’ll only run you $380. If you decide to throw in a leash, that’ll run you another $520.
These items are designed by Pagerie, a luxury pet startup that makes products using full-grain French leather that comes from the same tannery that supplies Hermès. And according to the brand, the products are crafted with the same level of care. Each piece is made by hand. And the brand’s designers use an approach that can only be described as dog-centered design. “Everything about Pagerie’s styles, shapes cuts, and patterns is meant to conform to the shapes and contours of our dogs,” founder Mandy Madden Kelley told Dezeen.
The dog economy is booming during the pandemic, with people increasingly adopting pets to try to offset their loneliness and boredom. Sales of dog diapers have spiked by 202% since March compared to the same period last year.
For decades, dog food and accessories were dominated by large specialized retailers such as PetCo, Petsmart, and Chewy, which have created generic and utilitarian products, such as plastic dog collars and leashes. But in recent years, startups have emerged to create more design-forward dog supplies. Wild One, for instance, creates attractive essentials such as elegant dog-walking kits and even trendy-colored poop bag carriers.
While Wild One seeks to create attractive but affordable dog accessories, Pagerie is focused on a consumer interested in luxury. The pieces are designed with a minimalist aesthetic, and the brand’s debut collection, Sahara, features three pieces in a shade inspired by the sand in the desert. The most expensive piece is the harness, which costs $720. It is designed like a horse saddle and comes with a little pouch that is “inspired by the classic bucket bag,” the website says. It features an attachable quilt padding that will keep the dog warm when the temperature drops.
It’s unclear how large the market is for luxury pet products, particularly at a time of financial turbulence. Bain says that the global sale of luxury goods is likely to decline by 25% to 30% this year. But for those who have a pandemic puppy and some disposable income, investing in a high-end dog collar might be a way to scratch their itch for luxury, without dropping $50,000 for an actual Birkin.