About Your Privacy on this Site
Welcome! To bring you the best content on our sites and applications, Meredith partners with third party advertisers to serve digital ads, including personalized digital ads. Those advertisers use tracking technologies to collect information about your activity on our sites and applications and across the Internet and your other apps and devices.
You always have the choice to experience our sites without personalized advertising based on your web browsing activity by visiting the DAA’s Consumer Choice page, the NAI's website, and/or the EU online choices page, from each of your browsers or devices. To avoid personalized advertising based on your mobile app activity, you can install the DAA’s AppChoices app here. You can find much more information about your privacy choices in our privacy policy. Even if you choose not to have your activity tracked by third parties for advertising services, you will still see non-personalized ads on our sites and applications. By clicking continue below and using our sites or applications, you agree that we and our third party advertisers can:
  • transfer your data to the United States or other countries; and
  • process and share your data so that we and third parties may serve you with personalized ads, subject to your choices as described above and in our privacy policy.

Archive

Ilene Hochberg Proves Her Bite Is Worse Than Her Bark in Her Spoof of Canine Couture

Posted on

Ilene Hochberg had been warned: Cat books sell; dog books don’t. But that didn’t stop her. She wanted to prove everyone wrong and doggone it, she did. Her recently issued fashion parody, Dogue (Main Street Press, $8.95) is so successful that most of the publishing world has been left with its tail between its legs.

Dogue, of course, is a spoof of Vogue, the archetype of fashion magazines. Hochberg, 31, has filled its pages with four-legged models draped in canine couture, typifying her fashion dogma. Hotels for hounds, dream doghouses and a workout page featuring Jane Fido are but a few of the topical articles. There’s also a “Dogs Are Barking About” column and a Q & A beauty page where a Yorkshire terrier with dry, fly-away hair asks how she can “achieve a fresher, more pulled-together look.” Even the ads stay in theme, hawking Kennel No. 5 perfume, Rufflon nail enamel and Barkglama minks.

Despite being turned down by most major publishers, Dogue sold out its huge first printing of 125,000 by publication date. Now in its third printing, Dogue is a Literary Guild selection and options have been placed on it in France, the Netherlands and Japan.

Dogue is a direct descendant of another Hochberg publication, 1983’s Dogwear Daily, a playful imitation of Women’s Wear Daily. At the time, Hochberg was designing a line of clothes for dogs and Dogwear was meant to create an awareness of her business. After getting thousands of responses, Hochberg realized she’d been barking up the wrong tree. “While people liked the clothes,” she says, “they loved the newspaper.” So she put her designing business on hold and started writing a book.

For two years Hochberg researched the pet market. To capture the slick, high-fashion appeal of beauty magazines, Ilene hired fashion photographers. She designed all the clothes used in the fashion layouts but freely admits she copied the styles of real designers, who are given credit, of sorts. Thus, one of the dogs models a denim jacket by Ruff Lauren, while a wide-eyed spaniel shows off a gold embroidered cape by Yves Saint Bernard. Bill Blass (also known as Bow Blass) was so enchanted with Dogue that he ordered 350 copies to give away at a charity affair.

Hochberg, nee Rosenthal, grew up in Yonkers, N.Y. She has not always been putting on the dog but has always been involved in clothes and fashion. The eldest daughter of a dentist and a housewife, Hochberg would often be dragged to a friend or relative’s house by her mother to advise them on what clothes went well together. The first thing Hochberg would ask for on her return from summer camp was a copy of Vogue. She graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in design and environmental analysis in 1976. Hired by the Abraham and Straus department store, she eventually became a fashion coordinator.

She founded Dogwear, her canine fashion line, in 1982. Ilene and her husband, Irwin, who owns a company that builds store interiors, have an apartment in Manhattan, and they weekend in Bucks County, Pa.

Though Hochberg says her Dogue days are not entirely behind her, her next project may provoke a woof of dismay among her dogged devotees. The proposed subject: cat couture.

Outbrain