Hannah Young

Sorry London Fashion Week, it’s all about the dogwalk right now

We're obsessed with the models

Words by Josh Newis-Smith

From the editors of InStyle UK

I imagined making my runway debut would be a bit more – you know – Bella like, with a silk robe possibly involved and being flanked by my girl squad, Gigi and Kendall. The night before this momentous moment in my career I keenly watched Kia Gerber strut her way down the Alexander Wang runway on repeat. About/more than ten times!

However the fantasy didn’t quite match reality. My hair may be the same shade as Bella’s, but my Gigi went by the name of Matilda and she was a fawn coloured French bulldog. I was barely even the star in fact and instead, I was Matilda’s handler. My runway homework was also futile: you can’t strut down the runway when you have a Frenchie sniffing around your ankles. The resulting walk was more ‘crazed woman at Crufts’ than Cindy Crawford junior.

My catwalk – nay, dog walk – debut marked the launch of Sniffie, the dog outfitter that aims to bring the latest trends to your pooch’s wardrobe and yours, too, with an array of matchy-matchy outfits. Again, very Bella and Gigi…

We speak with Caroline Roberts, the brains behind the whole operation, and she explains, ‘For years, I have been having problems finding well made and affordable doggie clothing for dogs in the market, also most of the doggies’ clothes designs are more childlike. So I decided to design and produce my own doggies clothes years ago.’

sniffie dogwalk

Skimming the rails backstage to find Matilda and I’s camo combo, you actually come across a checklist of big autumn/winter trends (capes, tick! Silky bombers, tick!) and of course dogtooth takes a starring role. As we dress, there are an array of animals getting in the zone and diva fits that I haven’t even seen at the Victoria’s Secret show. Bark after bark, one pooch demanded more and more biscuits whilst others took to the grooming chairs like pros.

Caroline reveals that a lot of the dogs were her friends’, though Sniffie also jumped out to location scout in parks for potential models. She says, ‘Obviously our four legged models are easier to discipline [than human models] as they are motivated and rewarded with doggie treats. Plus, most dogs are well trained so they are generally very obedient. I don’t have any special preference [between] working with humans and dogs, as they are nice to work with. However I must say that I’m more keen to work with dogs sine I love [them] and they are so loyal and dependent.’

sniffie dogwalk

Hannah Young

Some might find the desire to dress up your dog and even match them a little ‘too’ much, but the founders of Sniffie refute this claim. They said, ‘Some little dogs do need clothing for practical reasons, to keep warm. But others just love it. Look around, you have dogs that jump into their costumes everyday.’

Matilda – I can confirm – loved her camo moment.

Ready for combat we line up beside blogger En Brogue and her dog in matching dogtooth, their vibe? Regal AF. Behind us is Teddy The Pom whose Instagram strap line reads, ‘fluffier than you’, and as he is given a quick comb before his entrance I looked at his mane and thought, ‘humans would KILL for a barnett like that, some bitches get all the luck!’

sniffie dogwalk

Hannah Young

The catwalk went away in a fashion akin to dog years: quickly as if it was in fast-forward. Matilda worked it. I worked it. Then just like that she went back to her life as the former ‘dogwalk’ star in the park, chewing a bone and well me, I feel a bit more Bella.

The SNIFFIE collection retails from £70 for a vest to £200 for a jacket.

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