Kenneth Zane, designer to the dogs and creator of DogShow, a line of fashionable high quality pet accessories; Zane is the first to admit, “Never in my life would I have imagined I would be doing dog accessories.”
A fashion photographer for the past ten years, Zane’s work has appeared in Seventeen, Vogue, Elle, Vanity Fair, and several other magazines. It is this total immersion in style that influences his designs, but his real inspiration is his beloved Italian Greyhound, Avalon.
The couturier had always wanted a greyhound, but with his freelance lifestyle they were too big – he needed a dog he could travel with. After some research, Zane found Italian greyhound breeder, Janet Beckett, of Buffalo, New York. She had a one-year old show dog, Avalon that won his heart. She explained that Avalon needed a special one-piece collar and leash called a martingale so that his show coat would not be rubbed.
Zane searched high and low, but couldn’t find a martingale. Out of necessity, he designed one. In fact, he designed several martingales in a range of colours from lavender to white. Avalon and Zane drew a crowd wherever they went – people had to know where to get these leashes. Soon, they were commissioned by one of New York City’s trendiest pet stores, Fetch, and the Avalon line was launched!
“Avalon was the name of the line, but I wanted to branch out to other dogs,” admits the designer. Zane came up with the name DogShow while running late to a show with Avalon. Dennis Baribault, Avalon’s handler, kept saying, “We’re gonna be late for the dog show!” – and the name stuck.
By November 2000, Zane’s creations were on the market. He got calls from around the country. Henri Bendel, Fetch, and Barkley’s are among the stores in New York that carry the DogShow line – not just a New York phenomenon, however, DogShow has taken off on both coasts from Miami to San Francisco. “The universe just perpetuated the motion of this,” says Zane. “I didn’t plan it. Everything kept falling into place.”
Even in the show ring, things are taking off. Avalon (shown as Ch. Lorenc’s Butch Cassidy) has championed and won best of breed at the New York City Progressive Dog Club Show. He is also going to the Westminster Kennel Club Show in February. As for the show world Zane notes, “You have to go to shows and have fun because you never know what the outcome will be. It was so meaningful for Avalon to win the progressives because he’s not a highly campaigned dog. We go into the ring to have fun.”
For more information on animal welfare and pet tips check out Premier Pet Lifestyle Expert and Animal Rescue Advocate Wendy Diamond at www.wendydiamond.com and www.animalfair.com.