New York Fashion Week attendees were in for a real treat on Sunday.
Canine models wagged their tails down the runway for Anthony Rubio’s Fall/Winter 2024 Canine Couture women’s wear collection in a show where “humans are the accessories.”
The dogs came into the fashion sphere from all walks of life, including shelters and rescue groups from places such as Quebec, Los Angeles and San Antonio. The brand was also represented by social media dog influencers, like Brodie the Goldendoodle.
The inspiration behind NYC-born Rubio’s 19th season NYFW presentation at the Angel Orensanz Foundation on the Lower East Side was: “Everything is coming up roses.”
“We are living in dark times with wars breaking out, political feuds happening left and right, crime up, climate change causing devastation and we need an infusion of positivity,” Rubio said in a statement to The Post.
“Our four-legged family members bring love and joy, so I decided to have them bring about the message that it is time to stop and smell the roses,” Rubio explained to The Post.
As expected, the pups brought a lot of joy to the onlookers, especially when a couple of them did little body shakes or seemed like they wanted to play with all the humans in the room.
Rubio designed the pet couture with hand-made and embroidered roses in colors designed to bring joy because “after all, the Anthony Rubio Designs NYFW shows are known as the feel-good shows.”
As for the humans who accompanied the dogs, Rubio’s creations — which included lace dresses featuring rose embroidery, some with rose chiffon rose petals, and sequins to “bring on the glitter and glam” — utilized the colors of red, black and gold to allow the Canine Couture to pop, he explained.
The award-winning pet fashion couturier also introduced the first doggy Birmingham Bag, which he calls the Anthony Rubio Barkin Bag, as a hat worn by his own chihuahua Kimba, complete with a matching retro trapeze coat.
Rubio said the inspiration for the pup’s look came from a famous photo of model Linda Evangelista wearing a handbag on her head, and orders for that bag design are now “piling up.”
“It’s no secret that you save the best of your designs for last in your runway show,” Rubio said.
“The idea is that, theoretically, that last finale piece is intended to be the most memorable of the show. I have my own strategies, but my favorite is to leave them not just impressed but wanting more.”
The grand finale of Rubio’s NYFW show saw canine model Jazzy in her NYFW debut, showing off an architectural organza dome skirt design, with an embroidery of red roses sprinkled with large red paillettes and capped sleeves.
With Jazzy was human model Nina Adams wearing a matching, custom-fitted, rose-embroidered top with large red paillettes on a stretch vinyl, with a floor-length skirt featuring a thigh-exposing side slit, the designer shared.
“With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, this certainly puts one in the mood for LOVE,” Rubio said.
He shared that one-third of all proceeds go to animal rescue, advocacy of pet adoption, as well as pet population control.
Rubio, who is of Puerto Rican ancestry, grew up in Latin culture at a time of rebellion and expression in fashion, which inspired his colorful vision and helped him evolve into an in-demand designer.
Before Rubio got into the world of pet fashion and earned the esteemed title of “master pet couturier,” he studied women’s wear design at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York.
He decided to change course after rescuing a Chihuahua mix from an abusive situation, his agent previously told The Post. Rubio created a jacket to make his new pet feel snug and less anxious — and it worked.
Rubio went on to conceptualize canine couture, and he became known as the original pet couturier.
He knew his new platform would allow him the opportunity to be the “voice for those who could not speak.”
He began to advocate for animal rescue, pet adoption and pet population control, and he has played a key role in raising over $4 million for a range of organizations — including his personal favorite, The Guide Dog Foundation.
“[Rubio] is proud of his flourishing and evolving pet design brand, but more so of the philanthropic work to save animals,” his agent added.