Dara Foster
Dara Foster: Pet Fashion Expert

Featured On:

  • TheTodayShow.
  • LadiesHomeJournal
  • Shape
Dara Foster is co-founder of Pupstyle.com, host of Pupstyle.tv, and a fashion stylist in New York City. Founded as a labor of love with her husband Jonathan Spooner in 2003, Pupstyle.com has gained global attention as the premiere luxury dog products blog and resource. Dara spearheaded the luxury dog products movement with her own brand of boutique dog collars - Dara Foster New York. She currently spends her time focusing on elevating taste levels in the pet industry through the relentless pursuit of high-end design and fashion for dogs.

Dara's work has been published in many global magazines such as i-D, Ladies Home Journal, Fitness, Marie Claire, Shape, Latina, MORE, People, and many others. She has hosted and been featured on events promoting responsible pet ownership and pet style on several nationwide TV shows such as NBC's TODAY Show, MTV's Mega Dose, Good Day New York, FOX 5 New York and NY 1, CNN's Talk Back Live, and the Taco Bell Chihuahua Worldwide TV event.

  • Best of Pet Fashion Week
    Once a year, fashionistas and pet lovers flock to New York City for the annual Pet Fashion Week trade show. It’s an event filled with colorful trade booths and expensive runway shows rivaling Bryant Park. Don’t be fooled by the name of the event, it has much more to offer then just pet fashion. It’s a whole world of pet design ranging from clothing, accessories, beds, dinner wear, gourmet treats, grooming supplies, leashes/collars, carriers, and pet marketing services.

    I was on hand for the third year in a row trend-spotting and snagging interviews with the hottest up and coming new designers. Some key trends to watch out for include wall-mounted fixtures like feeders and cat scratchers and more modern, aesthetically pleasing cat products to coordinate your home interior. Clothes for both dogs and cats are becoming more about dressing “with” your pet instead of “dressing up” your pet. Pet style is about reflecting the owners’ personal sense of taste and fashion including their home decor.

    There were many stunning, new designers showing at PFW, but here are the “Best In Show”!
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  • Best Pet Gadgets
    Dog gadgets include a wide range of product solutions for just about every dog problem you can imagine. There’s never been a better time to be a dog owner. Designers are creating products that serve double duty as utility items AND fashion statements for your home and dog. Products range from low-tech, no-batteries-required solutions to high-tech GPS tracking devices.

    When selecting a dog gadget, give careful consideration the workmanship of the product. While many companies boast their products will simplify your life, you may end up with nothing more than a piece of battery gulping junk. Also, make sure the product is comfortable and safe for your dog and you to use. If you invest in a GPS tracking system, test it out in a safe area before tuning your dog loose and read other consumer reviews.
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  • Best Fabulous Dog Bowls
    Once upon a time, dogs dined from old Tupperware bowls dug up from under the sink or a plain ceramic dish with paw prints or bone patterns. Times have changed and consumers are demanding feeding vessels to be as beautiful as their home interior. In the past few years, the dog market has exploded with high-end designers crafting feeders that are as extravagant as fine china.

    With a large population of retiring Baby Boomers on the rise, dog spoilage has never been more popular. With empty nests and dogs to dote on, the demand for feeders that provide comfort and quality are in high demand. Raised feeders are becoming the new standard and are available in a wide range of materials. They are great for older dogs with neck or back pain by raising the food higher and reducing strain from bending over.

    When selecting a dining dish, give thought to ease of cleaning. If you mainly serve up kibble, then a quick rinse in the sink or wipe with a damp cloth will usually do the trick. If your pup prefers moist food, a dishwasher safe dish is the best way to go. With so many innovative designs popping up in the pet market, you don't have to compromise style any longer! Bon appetite!
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  • Best Dog Shirts (Spring and Summer)
    Ten years ago, most people would have laughed at the idea of dressing their dog in t-shirts and tank tops for anything besides Halloween. Nowadays, a shirt ranks as one of the must-have items to purchase for a dog alongside collars and leashes. The old joke about owners looking like their dogs has never been truer.

    Dog clothing is another extension of the owner’s personal style, and there is a huge variety of designs from which to choose. For a long time, if your dog didn’t love pink then she was left in the style doghouse. Finally, every dog is free to express their individuality with styles ranging from punk rock to preppy.

    When it’s time to freshen up your pooch’s spring and summer wardrobe, a t-shirt or tank top is an affordable option. Even huge designers like Ralph Lauren are offering polo shirts for dogs at very affordable prices. It’s possible to buy a creative, well-made tee or tank for very little money. Designs that include a lot of details, like rivets, pockets, collars, and zippers, all cost more money to manufacture, so expect a higher price tag.

    Judging the quality of a dog’s tee or tank is much like it would be for any piece of human clothing. You’ll want to feel the fabric, check for tailoring, and inspect any silk-screened item for printing quality. Poorly-made t-shirts will sometimes have sleeves that are not correctly tailored for dogs, making it uncomfortable for them to wear. Make sure your dog is not in any discomfort before handing over your charge card. Fashion is fun, so go for it!
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  • Best Spring - Summer 2008 Dog Collars and Leashes
    Ahhhh, spring is upon us and marks the start of “puppy season”. Whether you’re just about to bring home a new puppy or simply want to freshen up your new cuddle-buddy’s wardrobe, nothing says “My dog rules!” more than a new designer dog collar and leash.

    Not all dog collars and leashes are created equal. Quality can range from cheap mass-produced designs from China to extravagant custom-made couture from Paris. Designer dog collars and leashes are quickly becoming a new status symbol, rivaling women’s handbags and stilettos. Several big-name designers like Louis Vuitton and Vivienne Westwood have capitalized on this trend by launching their own dog fashion collections. It’s a perfect way for consumers to be introduced to a designer brand without spending too much money.

    When shopping for a dog collar and leash, don’t assume that big designer names are always necessarily the best. While some labels, like Vivienne Westwood, earn the high price tag, not all do. Judge each collar closely, like a piece of fine fashion. Feel the quality of the materials and note any innovative features in the design. A small dog collar made from rare albino crocodile skin takes quite a bit of time and skill to produce, and may be worth paying extra for.

    The hardware is also very important to consider. Fine metals like gold and sterling silver are beautiful, but make sure they are treated like jewelry since they are soft metals and will show early signs of wear and tear. Sturdy nickel or brass hardware will take a beating and still look beautiful for a long time, making them strongly recommend for large dogs.
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  • Best Spring - Summer Dog Coats, Hoodies, and Parkas
    Spring time is here. The birds are singing and dogs are howling “Get me outside!” The weather during early morning and late afternoon walks can be unpredictable, often leaving your best friend out in the cold. There is no need to torture your dog with cold, wet temperatures when there are so many great spring and summer coats, hoodies, and parkas from which to choose.

    While fashion is often in the eye of the beholder, it’s hard to argue with good quality workmanship that you can readily see, touch, and feel. The high-end dog fashion market is growing in leaps and bounds, and there’s something to fit everyone’s style without sacrificing quality. Look for tiny details like tight seams and good fabrics, and don’t pay a high price for dog clothing just because it’s pink.

    When shopping for a dog coat, hoodie, or parka, be sure to get accurate size measurements by measuring the length of the dog from the base of its neck to the base of its tail. Also, give some thought to the environment in which your dog will be wearing his or her coat. You wouldn’t want to put a fancy Coach coat on a beagle who rummages through a field.

    Below are the Best Of The Best spring and summer dog coats, hoodies, and parkas which are sure to add a little pep to your dog’s step. Dogs know when they look good!
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