Robin Meyer NYC Dresses the Dog

—Perry Santanachote | July 21, 2011 | The Latest Homepage Latest

Dogs have never had it better: Gourmet kibble made from choice cuts and organic grains; aromatherapy body rubs and paw-dicures; and a canine couture trend that has even Tom Ford designing for the four-legged. It shows no sign of slowing down: The American Pet Products Association reports that Americans will spend an estimated $51 billion on pets products this year—a statistic that has grown four-percent annually for the past decade.

When it comes to pet fashion we’re all about the snazzy leash and collar, but we cannot support ballerina tutus and matching slippers. Neither can Robin Meyer Droescher, founder and designer of Robin Meyer NYC, an accessories and apparel line for dogs that focuses on chic basics. “Even though there’s a fashion element to our products, dressing your dog is about functionality,” says Meyer Droescher. Her coats close with Velcro. The collars and harnesses have adjustable buckles for proper fit and sturdy D-rings to withstand even the most willful walkers. And each piece is tested on one of Meyer Droescher's four dogs: Angel, Jack, Maizy and Chester.

In the fashion business for 25 years as a designer for the likes of Ralph Lauren, Gap, Banana Republic and Liz Claiborne, Meyer Droescher began to think of animal-wear design when Maizy, a longhaired miniature dachshund, came into her life. “We’ve always had big dogs, but about three years ago we got Maizy and she was so cute and pretty—like an accessory that needed an accessory,” she explains. After a futile search for something suitable at pet chain stores, she made a pearl necklace and rhinestone collar for Maizy. It drew raves, and neighbors were soon placing orders.

In response to the attention—and the burgeoning luxury dog market—Meyer Droescher decided to launch her line of reversible wool coats, rain slickers, sweaters, collars and harnesses in 2009. No dresses or headpieces here, just functional items in fashionable fabrics like madras, chambray, Italian wool plaid, cashmere and bouclé. A signature collar with leather woven through a chunky chain evokes Chanel, while a studded plaid number is inspired by Burberry. Available at The Urban Canis, 188 Lafayette St., 212-966-4488

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