Peter Alexander, Fashion Designer

Pooch Mag meets up with the dog-loving fashion designer

By: Joanna Bounds

Peter with Betty and Butch

“When I was a child, I had dogs up until the age of seven – Labradors and boxers – but our success rate wasn’t great. They kept running away and we couldn’t train them. I loved them but the rest of the family couldn’t deal with them.

I had my next dog, Penny, a daschund, when I was 30. I’d stopped going to nightclubs and wanted to be more responsible. She was marked down in a pet store near where I worked - I asked the store assistant why they’d mark down a dog, and they said it was because she was getting older and the kids only wanted puppies. I took her home that day. I wasn’t prepared – it just happened.

That was the last time I bought a dog from a pet shop. My next dogs, Butch and Betty, came from a rescue shelter. I also got my mum a dog, Midge, from a shelter. Midge stays with us three nights a week, so I’ve actually got two and a half dogs. They all sleep in my bed – luckily I’ve got a big bed and I don’t tend to share it with another human.

Penny became the face of my label. She’s on my carrier bags and I do lots of daxie (daschund) motifs and patterns. Our daxie prints always sell out. She’s in doggie heaven now, but when she was alive she lived like a superstar. She was one pampered pooch.

She was also big and fat. We had to install a lift in our house because she couldn’t climb the stairs and she had a specially made bed that sat low to the ground so she could jump on and off without hurting her back. It wasn’t great – so I learnt how to be good parent to a dog from Penny.

One of the most glamorous moments in my career was when I opened a store in Los Angeles and the actress Catherine Heigl came with her dogs and we walked the red carpet together. We raised $100,000 for dog charities. Alicia Silverstone and Mandy Moore were also there – it was so LA and so fabulous.

In Australia, the Minogue sisters wear my PJs, as does Toni Collette, Tina Arena and Georgie Parker. Every time I meet an Australian actress they often say “I wear your pyjamas!”.

I love dogs because they give you unconditional love, give good energy and are so in tune with you. Working in the fashion industry is often all smoke and mirrors, but you come home and a dog’s love is true.”
Think Peters pooch Daxie was pampered? Check out this article to read about other pampered pets


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