Pet high fashion to hit the runway in Philly

Pet high fashion to hit the runway in Philly

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Pet enthusiasts will get to see their four-legged friends strut their stuff for a good cause when Pet Support Phashion Charity Affair hosts Philadelphia’s first fashion doggie show, Nov. 18 at Loews Hotel.

The show will feature the newest in dog fashions and other products, as well as one-of-a-kind designs by award-winning dog couturiers Anthony Rubio of Bandit Rubio Designs and Genny Perez of Milou Couture. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Pennsylvania SPCA Humane Law Enforcement.

Out couturier Rubio said that organizers of the event wanted a high-fashion element to the show.

“They needed an infusion of high-life, luxurious lines of fashions that New York is famous for,” he said. “I am going to be bringing that to Philadelphia. My line of clothing I’m putting together is all couture, mostly handmade. It’s very luxurious — the fabrics, the designs, the draping. It’s like a game I’m playing because each piece is reminiscent of famous couture designers for people. I am notorious for being the innovator and inventor of the most outrageous things around, from hats to garments for the dogs and even accessories. I used everything from history and my travels and I get inspired by many things, from architecture to movies. The sky is the limit. I have no particular trend. I just decided this time, since they wanted New York and New York is a city of fashion, I wanted to bring the fashions from all over the world to this fashion show.”

We expressed to Rubio our concern that pets might not enjoy dressing up as much as people enjoy dressing them up, but he assured us they are into it and the public perception of pet couture is evolving.

“The thing is, years ago, you would see a dog that would have some clothing on and the reaction would be, ‘Isn’t that funny,’” he said. “Five years later, it’s the other way around. You see a dog without clothing and people are like, ‘That dog must be cold, he doesn’t have anything on.’ So in my opinion, the dogs enjoy it as long as it’s comfortable to wear and it’s not a cumbersome item to wear.”

Even the big dogs?

“I think that the larger dogs tend to look a bit silly, so in that case, less is more,” he said. “Being from New York, almost everybody lives in an apartment or a condo. So they tend to have small lap dogs. They’re easier to display and carry and walk around with. The last thing you want to do is spend a fortune on a garment that is going to be dragged around on a sidewalk or get ruined. So the couture pieces are mostly for special occasions like a wedding or a ball. When I make something for a larger dog — which I will be doing for the Philadelphia event, I’m doing a tuxedo for a husky — the tuxedo is going to be more along the lines of a vest because the sleeves make it look like someone took off a jacket and put it on a dog. So I believe less is more.”

OK, that makes a bit of sense ... Wait: Did he say a fortune?

“The pet industry, dressing them up and everything, has turned into a $50-billion industry,” Rubio told us.

That’s right: 50 billion dollars.

For that kind of money, we’d all hand-sew fishnets for a pitbull.

But at least, in the case of this Philadelphia fashion show, all this conspicuous consumption and opulence is for a good cause, right?

“I 100 percent stand behind the beliefs [of the PSPCA],” Rubio said. “They do so much work and they are underappreciated. I think that they need as much support as possible.”

The PSPCA fashion show runs from 7 p.m.-midnight Nov. 18 at Loews Hotel, 1200 Market St. For more information or tickets, visit or call 215-750-4406.

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