Penny the petite Maltese-poodle mix took to the red carpet effortlessly for her second New York Fashion Week recently.
She was debuting one-of-a-kind canine couture created by designer Anthony Rubio and was held in the arm of a model as she sashayed down the runway Sept. 11 at the Angel Orensanz Foundation in New York City.
Manpreet “Preety” Kaur is making a name for the 16-month-old pup by promoting her on Instagram (@PennyLuxeLife) and getting her fashion and photography contracts. Penny models for Rifruf dog sneakers and is an ambassador for Kara Mergl Photography.
Kevin Henao @henao.photos
Kara Mergl Photography
Kaur lives in Exeter Township with her family while she is completing medical school and a Master of Business Administration degree. She said she saw a fellow student’s dog had a litter with her neighbor’s dog and was smitten with the little fluff ball when she met Penny.
Late last year Kaur saw a casting call for Rubio’s show.
“Usually all of his slots are filled, but because of the whole pandemic situation he did have a casting call and I was like, ‘She’s not going to get this opportunity, but it doesn’t hurt to try anyway’,” Kaur said .
She couldn’t believe Penny was selected.
“I get the email, and I jumped up and I screamed, because you know living in Berks County, this is kind of like a big deal for us,” she said.
During that first fashion show in February, Kaur said there were a lot of celebrities in attendance, including Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu.
““It was a great way to get work and learn more about the industry, coming from a completely different background, as a girl who was born in India from a very, very different environment,” Kaur said.
She said she was ecstatic when Penny was chosen to model for Rubio at his latest show.
“I am so proud of my New York Fashion Week presentation for Spring Summer 2023,” Rubio wrote in an email. “My collection included 20 creations for humans and 20 of my Canine Couture designs.
“For the pets, I designed in bright vibrant colors with lots of glimmer, each a unique one-of-a-kind work of art. These garments represent how much our pets brighten our days even at the worst of times. As I have stated time and again, our pets, which are mostly adopted from shelters and rescues, are models and not accessories.”
Rubio went to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York for womenswear and created human designs in the late 1980s into mid-1990s, his representative said.
After taking a break from the design world until 2003, he was inspired by his adopted dog Bandit to start Bandit Rubio Designs for pets. The company name was changed to Anthony Rubio Designs when Bandit died in 2011. Proceeds from the sales of the canine couture go to various rescue organizations, a representative said.
Kaur, 32, was born in New Dehli, India, and is a 2008 graduate of Exeter High School. She said that when she first came to school in the US she had to take English as a second language classes. Now she has no accent .
Penny has been continuing her education, too. She became a certified therapy dog through Pawsitive Hearts Pet Therapy and Rescue Inc. in August and has visited the Hogan Learning Academy for students with autism spectrum disorder in Rockland Township and the Berks County district attorney’s office.
She also is learning to use “talking” buttons, Kaur said.
“So when she wants to go outside or she wants a treat, she actually pushes a button,” Kaur said. “It will speak to me.
“Now that I’m teaching her to speak, it is actually cool.”