StyleTails speaks to Petra Jungebluth, Founder and Creative Director of Berlin based designer dog label, Cloud 7.
When we spotted the contemporary canine collection from Berlin label, Cloud 7, we knew they were onto something special. Launched in 2011 by fashion designer Petra Jungebluth, Cloud 7 is a true labour of love, from the thoughtful design process to the honest, natural materials and their signature pared-down palette. Not only talking the talk, but walking the walk when it comes to producing truly beautiful and ethical products, Cloud 7 perfectly captures the simple and harmonious relationship between human and hound. StyleTails speaks to Petra about what makes the brand so special…..
What originally inspired you to launch Cloud 7?
The idea for the collection had been running around my head for a while after looking for products for our own dog. Almost everything just seemed cynical in both the way they were designed and the cheap materials they were made from.
What’s your background and how did you end up designing for our four-legged friends?
I have spent almost my entire professional life in fashion, working for big international brands like Tommy Hilfiger or German upscale brand Strenesse. I studied fashion design which also covered aspects of marketing and distribution, which later became quite helpful when starting Cloud 7. After returning to Germany after a number of years in New York and Amsterdam, I originally planned on starting my own fashion label, but when I noticed the gap for well designed pet products, I sat down and began to design a full range for dogs in just the way I always imaged them to be.
Where did the name Cloud 7 come from?
Cloud 7 is a simple mix of the English idiom Cloud 9 and the German equivalent Wolke 7 (Wolke = Cloud), and it expresses how the dogs should feel with our products.
Where are you based and where are the products produced?
Our office is in the centre of Berlin’s most creative and independent district of Kreuzberg, a lovely and inspiring multicultural area with many other designers, bands and artists in the neighbourhood. For me it has always been important to produce our products within reach and work with people that I personally know and can trust. We have been very lucky to have found a wonderful family owned business just across the border in Poland who are producing almost all of our products.
Tell us about your dog?
Johan, our black Labrador has been our buddy for 11 years now. I got him as a little puppy and he is a daily pleasure and big laugh. It also comes in handy that apart from the pleasure of having him around every day, he is also the super-indendent of our quality control department and happily helps out whenever it come to modelling for our photo shoots.
Your signature palette is earthy and pared-down. Where does the inspiration for the colour choices come from?
I have always aimed for a design language that reflects the true relationship between humans and their dogs, which in the happiest moments is being outside and enjoying the mutual pleasure and freedom in nature.
Tell us a little bit about the materials you work with?
Wherever it’s possible we use certified organic fabrics and materials. It just seems cynical to me to bring any living being in touch with materials that are heavily treated with pesticides and other chemicals. On top of that it is also shows respect to the people who are working in the cotton fields. This has not been an easy choice because it makes our products not only more expensive, but also makes the research in finding the best materials very complex, but it’s very important to me and I believe we are probably the only pet brand worldwide that takes this approach.
Are the products all ‘road tested’ by real dogs?
As well as our dog Johan, there is also Humphrey, the super confident Jack Russell of one of our employees. All our products are constantly in use and well tested by both dogs. Sometimes we spot them secretly sneaking into a quiet corner to steal products from the shelves, mostly our Love Bone toy which drives both of them crazy. Luckily the squeaker reveals their sneaky behaviour.
Which is your favourite piece in the collection?
I have two. Our dog bed Sleepy to me is just exactly what a dog wants and needs for his 12 to 14 hours of daily sleep. We have even heard from some clients that their dogs have given up their habit of constantly sleeping in their bed . The other product is our Travel Bed, simply because I think it is absolutely unique in it’s concept and design.
How important do you think it is now for people to translate their own style into style for their pet?
In our design process, we always start with the functionality for the dog. The next logical aspect then is to find a design and work with materials that simply integrate nicely into a modern and sophisticated home. A dog bed can be quite a big piece of furniture in a room so there is no reason why the same design approach shouldn’t apply as with any other piece for your interior.
What do you love most about designing for dogs?
It is as simple as combining my passion for design with my love for dogs.
Are you launching any new products into the collection?
We are constantly working on new designs for our existing categories of dog beds, travel beds, bowls, collars & leashes, toys and have just cut our teeth in developing new categories like dog carriers and warming coats. We have also just done a collaboration with a major international travel accessories brand, designing a completely new dog travellers line for them, which is due to come out in late 2013.
The Cloud 7 collection ranges from £11 for dog toys up to £360 for the Sleepy Deluxe Dog Bed.
Shop the collection now at Cloud7.de