The 37-year-old designer has joined forces with Greenies — the animal wellness brand that offers dog dental treats — on a collection of trench coats for pet parents and their pups.
The outerwear is covered in the iconic (and currently trending) houndstooth pattern — but with a twist. Dubbed “Houndstoothless,” the motif is strategically missing “teeth” in the design to raise awareness about the canine dental crisis. (80 percent of dogs show signs of oral health issues by the age of 3, per the American Veterinary Medical Association.)
“My dogs are obsessed with Greenies, which is pretty much why I wanted to do this,” Siriano exclusively told Us Weekly. “My two small Chihuahua Doxins had such horrible dental problems, and it’s nice to learn that Greenies’ mission is to end this problem.”
“We designed this really cool ‘canine couture’ capsule to stress the importance of healthcare for dogs, and we did this fabulous trench coat that we’re giving away to draw even more attention to the issue,” Siriano explained. (Participants can enter the sweepstake at Greenies.com.)
When it came to designing the pieces, Siriano’s dogs served as muses. “The trench idea for me was about protection and coverage, and I felt like it was something cool and universal for any gendered dog and any gendered person,” he said.
Siriano’s work with Greenies isn’t the only project on the forefront as he’s gearing up for New York Fashion Week, which kicks off on Friday, September 8. Siriano opened up to Us about how he gets “in the zone” and shared what trends he hopes to see this fall.
“My music helps,” Siriano described his creative process.. “I’ll listen to one song over and over and over,” he continued, adding that his current tune of choice is Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?” from the Barbie soundtrack.
“It’s really beautiful,” Siriano shared. “It helps me create. There’s also a Kim Petras song called ‘Minute’ that I listen to while I’m sketching everyday. I try to pick a song that allows me to focus.”
While Siriano has numerous runway moments under his belt, the thrill of presenting his designs in front of hundreds never gets old.
“My favorite part is the moment the show starts because you feel like ‘Wow, I’m finally done.’ It’s a big relief. So much energy gets poured into these few minutes, and I love seeing it all come to life,” he mentioned.
Siriano got his big break after winning the fourth season of Project Runway in 2007 when he was only 21-years-old. He quickly became known for his decadent creations that celebrate women and all body types. He’s famously dressed Ashley Graham, Angela Bassett, Kelly Ripa, Janelle Monáe, Kate Hudson, Jodie Turner-Smith, Mariska Hargitay and more.
With so much excitement surrounding his fashion house, Siriano said one of the biggest challenges is keeping customers “excited and wanting to come back.”
“What I try to do is give people enough sneak peaks at what I do, but I do try to surprise people at every fashion show that I have — whether that’s inviting a surprise guest or not really sharing too much about the collection beforehand,” Siriano told Us.
Siriano teased that “This show coming up is my 15th anniversary, and I have a singer performing and I’m not even telling my boyfriend who it is.” He continued, “I think that’s what it’s about. Without elements of surprise, who cares. No one wants to come!”
Although Siriano can’t reveal much about his upcoming NYFW presentation, he did tell Us he’s obsessed with the idea of a “return to glamor.”
“I like the idea of people wearing ball skirts and striped suits but paired with sneakers. It’s easy elegance.”