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Pet Projects: Footwear Designers on Their Furry Friends

Sam Edelman, Matt Bernson and others reveal how their dogs — and one rabbit —inspire their work.

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Bonkers the rabbit with Ivy Kirzhner flats

Photo By courtesy of Ivy Kirzhner

Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette. Carolina Herrera and Gaspar. Isaac Mizrahi and Harry and Dean. Many of fashion's major players are known for doting on and designing items inspired by their pets. Some — like Lagerfeld, who launched his cat-inspired accessories capsule in October, and Herrera, who created a puppy-covered fabric print in 2012 and a Gaspar handbag collection in 2013 — literally incorporate their pets' personalities into their products, while others make their animal companions muses in subtler ways.

The footwear world is no different in its affinity for animals. Designers like Donald Pliner and Ivy Kirzhner have created shoe styles adorned with likenesses of their furry friends. And Sam Edelman's Jack Russel, Squeex, is known for pitter-pattering around his showrooms. The pup even cheered Edelman on at the Footwear News Achievement Awards in December, waiting in the car with the driver to greet the designer after the event. "He inspires us every day with his wit and charm and personal style," Edelman said.

Read on for more about how these stylish pets add an adorable twist to business.

Next page: Ivy Kirzhner’s Bonkers bud >>

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