Pet, not pret
It's fashion for your pooches as India's go-to designers for swim and resort wear introduce a pet line for our furry, four-legged friends
Puppy love is a real thing. "Three years ago, Matisse walked into our home and changed our lives," says Narresh Kukreja, one half of the brand Shivan & Narresh, over a phone interview. Matisse (named after their favourite French artist Henri Matisse) is a desi dog rescued from a railway station in New Delhi by Kukreja's sister. And Matisse is the reason why we have India's first designer line for pets. "We started designing leashes and collars for him that have now expanded into a full-fledged line for Rashi Sanon Narang's Heads Up For Tails [HUFT]," he adds.
The 26-product range featuring embellished and printed collars, embossed leashes, printed sweatshirts, bowties, bandanas, mattresses, blankets, jackets and cat teepees — is quite simply everything you'd expect in your personal closet. "As millennial designers ourselves," Kukreja says, "The line is imagined for the millennial pet parent who considers their trendsetting pet-influencer as a member of the family, and ensures its wardrobe is decadent and in sync with luxe canine fashion," he says. "We've ensured that only animal-tested colours were used for details like star studs and gold trims, and we used a lot of PU [artificial leather] which is organic". His personal pick: the cat teepee tent design borrowed from the brand's popular abstract Léger print.
Pet parents have preferences, often projecting their own likes and dislikes onto their pets. The designer duo gathered that one size didn't cut it, nor did the colour pink work for all male dogs. "Gender norms are ingrained in our psychology, and we found that the distinction extends to their dogs as well. As owners, they want their dog to portray a certain personality." And just like fashion for humans is subject to shifting trends, the designer duo is planning to introduce new collections, and perhaps even hold an annual fashion show for dogs!
Apart from changing their lives, and prodding a fashion line, Matisse also turned the designer duo into activists for HUFT's Adopt Not Shop initiative, with part of the proceeds from the fashion line going towards the cause. "We believed dogs should be bred, but that changed when we met Matisse; he brought happiness in our lives. We hope that we can encourage people to adopt and not buy factory-made dogs," he says.
At HUFT and Shivan & Narresh retail stores, and www.headsupfortails.com and www.shivanandnarresh.com.
Price Léger dog collar and leash set: Rs 1,899 (S), Rs 1,999 (M) and Rs 2,099 (L); Léger teepee tent: Rs 8999; Léger lounger dog bed: Rs 5299 (S), Rs 6299 (M) and Rs 6999 (L).
Shivan Bhatiya and Narresh Kukreja
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