Gucci is one of the latest fashion brands to see dollar signs in the business of dressing up pets.
People might be cutting back on spending these days but data suggests that pets will convince those who love them to cough up some cash. Pet supply purchases on Afterpay are up 1,085 percent over last year, the “modern layaway” firm found last month. The pay-in-four platform also documented a 21 percent year-on-year jump in pet accessory sales, suggesting that consumers continue to spoil the animals in their lives, even if they have to spread out their payments to do so.
Those shopping the new Gucci Pet collection, however, probably aren’t worried about cost (though the Kering-owned brand works with alternative loan provider Affirm). A wool mohair strawberry hat from the cat-and-dog apparel and accessories line retails for $460 while a geometric logo-print cotton T-shirt goes for $330. Pet beds offered in four prints cost an eye-watering $7,500. Sweaters, coats, leashes, harnesses, collars, bag holders, Air Tag cases, feeding bowls, cloches, coordinated feeding mats and a travel bowl set, complete with carrying case, round out the comprehensive collection.
Gucci Pet maintains the brand’s effort to pursue responsible materials. The collection features recycled cotton and Demetra, a proprietary textile material made from vegan, primarily renewable and bio-based sources.
In similar fashion to Gucci, pet brand Dogily recently launched its debut collection of matching silk bandanas for people and dogs. The collection features three different designs of hair scarves, scrunchies and square scarves named “Tyra”, “Serene” and “Collins”.
“As dog-lovers, we were tired of seeing the same cheap-quality and lower-end fashion pet accessories that didn’t make us or our dog’s look or feel good. We want to empower people to view pet accessories differently as something that can be high-quality and stylish,” said Cindy Lee, director of marketing for Dogily.
The pet apparel industry is on track to reach $7 billion by 2028, Fortune Business Insights found. Consumers have long shown their willingness to spend more and trade up to higher-priced products when it comes to their pets, according to Lauren DeVestern, managing director and partner at L.E.K. Consulting, which helps pet brands, retailers, service providers, distributors and investors examine micro and macro trends that fuel spending growth across various sectors.
People in the U.S. adopted pets at a rapid clip during the Covid pandemic, when home-based lifestyles took hold and many sought ways to combat the sudden separation from their usual social routines. That was among the biggest trends responsible for the booming pet products industry. New pandemic pet owners tend to skew younger, wealthier and more likely to invest in their four-legged dependent’s wardrobe.
But the pandemic isn’t the only trend responsible for this surge. DeVestern says people foster increasingly “human” sentiments for their pets, which is part of what’s driving strong spending on apparel and accessories for their trusted companions.
Brand licensing trends play a role as well, giving fashion brands access to the lucrative pet market and the opportunity for greater exposure.
“I think that some of the manufacturers are looking for those partnerships, and therefore you’re seeing the crossover [between consumer] brands and brands from other sectors entering the pet market in this space. I think another trend might be that pet products, including these types of apparel products and other accessories, are increasingly sold in a higher number of retail stores and channels,” DeVestern said.