This past Friday, Fashion’s Night Out (a.k.a. FNO) took over New York City, where the garment business is the second-biggest industry after finance. A thousand stores stayed open late across five boroughs. Payless provided free transportation to key shopping destinations on double-decker buses, plus photo opportunities with its star designers, Patricia Field, Lela Rose, Christian Siriano, and Isabel Toledo. And all over the city, hotels offered FNO packages to lure out-of-towners to sit, stay, and shop.
Dogs being creatures of timeless style, they managed to make cameo appearances at two swanky stores – and that’s not counting the numerous micro-dogs who accompanied their intrepid owners, toted along in designer carriers.
Downtown, on Seventh Avenue South – the further-North part of Seventh, in the heart of the famed garment district, is known as “Fashion Avenue” - the fabulous flagship store of designer John Bartlett is branded inside and out with the image of Bartlett’s dog, a mixed-breed named Tiny Tim.
This handsome mutt has quite a life story thus far: He landed at North Shore Animal League America, our country’s largest no-kill shelter, shortly before Christmas Eve eight years ago. After his right foreleg was amputated, he was aptly named after the sweet little boy in the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol.
From those humble beginnings, K9 Tiny Tim steadily rose to fame as the image representing Bartlett’s signature collection of handsome, tailored-yet-hip threads and accessories. “Tim is my true icon,” Bartlett explains, so the dog’s striking silhouette is branded on everything from T-shirts to jeans to underwear.
Here’s a helpful hint, shoppers: Renowned astrologer Susan Millerwarns that Mercury, which went direct today, will turn retrogradeagain in October and December; she offers starry style counsel by encouraging us all to purchase holiday gifts well in advance of the actual holiday, i.e. in the second half of September, the first week of October, or November 19-30 “for best results.” Well, what more stylish, thoughtful present for a well-dressed dog lover than something bearing the Tiny Tim Bartlett logo?
The tripod K9 image also appears on the shop’s glass door and on the shopping bags and gift boxes. “At first, you don’t notice that the logo is a three-legged dog – he just looks like a sweet dog,” Bartlett adds. “And I like clothing and fashion to have that element of surprise.”
To celebrate adopted mutts everywhere, Bartlett even designed a special “Fashion Hound” Tiny Tim T-shirt, sized for men and women, with proceeds from sales donated to North Shore.
With his distinctive walk, Tim cuts quite the dashing figure. Bartlett is quite easy on the eyes himself, so when the two appear together, heads turn. Duly inspired, the artist Richard Haines – a talented Southpaw whose chic, charming pencil sketches are irresistible eye candy to fashion followers - recently immortalized the pair in a sketch that depicts Tim and his designer Dad most fetchingly.
My dog Sheba was lucky to score a date with Tim one evening back in 2008, at North Shore’s DogCatemy Awards gala; photographic evidence of the evening is on Bartlett’s web site, where Tim has his very own page.