Utt edges into pet-fashion

15 October 2012 / 4 years 1 week ago

Source: my paperThe Obamas are often seen playing with Bo, their Portuguese water dog, while Peaches, a French bulldog, often accompanies actor Hugh Jackman on trips.From Tinkerbell to Bit Bit, celebrity dogs have fascinated the media.Naturally, accessories - from collars to carry bags - have found popularity with pooch-loving consumers.Now, Singapore has a new celebrity-driven line from home-grown brand PawGlam.And it all started with a dog named Aigo, a two-year-old female shiba inu that belongs to actor, host and model Uttsada Panichkul, popularly known as Utt."I started designing what I would like my pet to wear," Utt told my paper in a recent interview.He had felt that pet collars in the market were too feminine. Thus, the line Utt X PawGlam - which features rock-inspired pet collars which start at $180 each - was born."I think it's nice to characterise your pets and identify them (based on) their personality. Aigo is stubborn and headstrong but has a sweet nature," Utt said of his pet, which he got as a puppy from a local pet store.The designs make generous use of black leather, spikes and chains.Admittedly, said Utt, it's not all about Aigo."The music I listen to, or how I might dress, also inspired the designs," he added. "I do think my own style influenced the designs."Ms Sia Aiwei, founder of PawGlam, and who is a longtime friend of Utt's, believes that the collection will reach out to a large customer base.Already, the line is doing well.At a soft launch for the collection in March, many pet owners were keen to purchase the collars on the spot, even though they were not yet released for sale. Now, more than 500 pieces have been sold.Ms Sia said that Utt's designs have "a very masculine style that's very unique and different from my line of works which is more feminine and cute".The original PawGlam line of collars is made with imported materials such as lace, crystals and fabric flowers. The collars are handmade by Ms Sia and a team of tailors.Ms Sia ventured into pet fashion two years ago, when she turned her hobby of making bell collars for her cats into an online business."The sales and feedback from my customers were very encouraging and I decided to launch PawGlam," she said. Today, PawGlam is also available at Pet Lovers Centre outlets.When asked if there are plans for more collaborations in the future, Ms Sia said humbly that "we would like to take things one step at a time".She added: "But, when conditions are right, definitely."Pet lovers certainly don't shy away from spending on their pets.The market is worth some US$52.8 billion (S$66.4 billion) in the United States alone.Mr Eric Tan, 33, founder of Sanric Petcare, said that the pet industry is lucrative because owners are willing to spend on their pets as they would on their children.Pets are a "close part of the family".He added: "Owners will not hold back on providing them with the best, and paying top dollar for them."

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