Sandrine Charles is the founder of Sandrine Charles Consulting, a communications agency specializing in fashion and lifestyle clients—especially in menswear—including but not limited to clients like Alife, Daily Paper, Sneakersnstuff, and Victor Li. Though her showroom is downtown, Sandrine lives in uptown Manhattan with her six-year-old Shiffon (Brussels Griffon-Shih Tzu mix), Croissant, who is a snack and a hypebeast, too.
Did you grow up with dogs?
I wasn’t allowed to have a dog. My mom was like, “You’re not getting a dog.” Coincidentally, my baby sister got a dog. As an adult, I really wanted one.
“Croissant is literally living the life that I’m working towards. The fruits of my labor—Croissant is eating them.”
So you knew you were a dog person as a kid?
Loved dogs. Loved everyone else’s dog. None of my cousins had dogs. But people in the neighborhood on the cul-de-sac had dogs.
How did Croissant come into your life?
It was a breakup. My friend Amanda, who used to live 10 blocks from me, had a dog, and she just loved her dog so much. I was actually looking at other dogs, because my dream dog was a black dog. I went to the store and I originally picked up her sister, who was too yappy—too much talking. But Croissant was quietly rolled up in the corner, like a croissant. She looked like a loner. Her sister was like, “Buy me,” and she was like, “I’m here.” They were four months old [at the time]. I felt like her energy and my sad energy, at the moment, were really good together, so she just made the most sense.
What is a day in the life with you and Croissant?
Croissant is up at 6:00 AM, and she is in my face, like, “Let’s go outside.” She’s very much on her own schedule, and she’s very authoritative. We take a walk, whether it’s through the park or up to Broadway. She says hi to everyone—she’s actually obsessed with one of my doormen. They are peas in a pod, and they will hang out for a long period of time. I try to bring her to work, but it doesn’t always afford me the luxury, because I have to go out after work. She doesn’t come to work events because I’m worried she’ll get stomped. So, she alternates with her Wag! walkers. I like the ones that I have starred because they get along, and I set up a camera that I watch. Sometimes, we go to my friend’s restaurant, Fumo, and we sit outside. I bring media there, so that counts as coming to work with me. But she doesn’t come to a sneaker event.
Has she ever joined you at Fashion Week?
No. And it hurts, because I’m a mother first. Anyone who knows me knows I quote that. I’m a mother first, first and foremost. My priority is her.
Have you done anything fun on Mother’s Day with Croissant?
We don’t, but we should. We go out for Grandma, and Croissant’s obsessed with Grandma. They have a good relationship. They go shopping. They go to A.C. Moore together. My sister sent me a picture of Croissant in the cart at A.C. Moore. Smiling.
You mentioned that Croissant is a Luxury Girl.
She is a Luxury Girl.
What does that mean?
Croissant is literally living the life that I’m working towards. The fruits of my labor—Croissant is eating them.
She has her doorman. She has her little dog friends in the building. She has luxury toys. She’s always traveling. She hasn’t gone on a plane yet, but I’m afraid—I don’t know how’d she react, and I don’t want to drug her. But when Croissant travels, she’s always in an Uber SUV to go to see Dr. Ramos, her vet. It’s hard to detach from him, because he knows her, and so we go up to Washington Heights to see him, which is far. She’s very spoiled in the fact that people come visit her. She eats very well.
What does she eat?
She loves steak from American Cut. She likes vegetable medley. She likes chicken and she likes fried plantains. She likes white rice, which is great, because it helps dogs go to the bathroom. Once a week she has white rice mixed with her urinary care food. At one point, she was squatting and not peeing. And I thought she had a stone, and then she didn’t. The second time, she did have a stone, so her doctors put her on urinary care food.
She drinks filtered water from the fridge. She enjoys it. She can taste the difference.
Sometimes I do this fake out when I’m having wine. She’ll lick the outside of the glass, so she thinks she’s drinking wine.
What does she wear?
She has a Marc by Marc Jacobs bag, which is for her day-to-day travels, which has her wee-wee pads, her extra food, her snacks, her balls, and a jacket. She has jackets from Pawkier and Pawmain which are dog retailers that make streetwear versions of dog clothes. She has a North Face-inspired coat from The Dog Face, which goes with my Gore-Tex.
Do you ever match outfits with Croissant?
I wish it were more of a thing with us, because I can’t find doggy sneakers. But if I could invest more time, I’m going to have us matching for holidays. Her birthday’s coming up in January. I’m going to get her some outfits and some more toys—but she has toys spread out everywhere. She has toys in every county, as well. She has toys in my office.
Tell us about your outfit today.
I’m wearing my Alife X Crocs collaboration. It was actually the first thing I worked on when Alife became a client, and they’re so comfortable. I wear them to walk Croissant everyday. I’m wearing a Daily Paper blazer in camel. I’m wearing FRAME black jeans. I feel like they just get you if you have some ass and some thighs. I’m a Net-a-Porter girl—I’m a VIP customer. If I have to go somewhere, I order from Net-a-Porter and it comes that afternoon. I’m wearing a Wolford bodysuit—this is kind of like my uniform.
“She drinks filtered water from the fridge. She enjoys it. She can taste the difference.”
Do you have clients who are dog obsessed too?
I don’t think so. It’s very interesting, because I’m a full-on dog mom—run-home-for-my-dog kind of energy. I can’t think of any.
What is her grooming routine?
We use earthbath® Grooming Wipes because she sleeps in bed with me. She goes to PetSmart every three months for the premium package. She gets the oatmeal shampoo and the berry conditioner. We do the nails, we do our ear cleaning, teeth cleaning, a trim—and then she rips her bow out immediately. But it’s up the street so it’s easy. And then we get to get our little snacks.
Her ears perk up every time she hears “snack.” Croissant, you are a snack. One Halloween, she was a bacon, egg, and cheese croissant.
How do you balance being a great dog mom and the fact that you do go out to a lot of dinners and late night events for work?
It’s hard. I really like to come home and walk her. I really like to walk her in the morning and use that time to spend time together. Once a week, my housekeeper’s here, so that’s a full day with someone, which is perfect for Croissant. I try to minimize my dog walkers. Sometimes I’ll splurge—I’ll keep the TV on for her. If I feel guilty that day, I’ll leave the TV on.
What does she watch?
I leave E! on, usually. But Croissant does her own thing. I watch her with my Nest Cam, synced to the system in my office. I don’t have to go far to see her. It’s a full playback security camera, so Wag! does not try me. I can talk right into it. I can speak to them. No games.
What are some of your other favorite dog brands?
She has the Casper dog bed and Pottery Barn food bowls and stand. She’s definitely a human dog, I like to say, because she likes human things—like things that aren’t for her. She’s obsessed with her champagne plush, though. Her human mannerisms are nuts. I always say she is a true baby.
Tell us about that.
She’s a lady—she crosses her legs. She knows she’s cute, which is perfect, because there’s no confusion. What a cutie pie—what a beautiful girl. We do doggy affirmations together.
“She taught me be more affectionate, because I was never that affectionate.”
Morning or night?
Morning and night.
Croissant, you had a beautiful day. You were a gorgeous spirit. You look amazing. She knows.
Croissant is definitely my pre-children child mannerism tutorial.
I want my kids to feel gracious. I want them to feel loved, and even though I don’t have any yet, I think that a dog really sets you up for what you could have if you have kids afterwards.
She’s just so lovable. I think I lucked out because she has a great tribe, a good village that has been around her over the years. She has a godfather and a godmother. It’s a good safety net if the worst happens.
You mentioned that you were handicapped for six months. What was it like living with Croissant?
I was very lucky when I ruptured my Achilles. My mom was here for the first two weeks, and then there wasn’t a day that went by that multiple people weren’t here to cook me breakfast, lunch, dinner, bring me dinner, bring me wine, walk her for me. Not one day was I struggling, because I also couldn’t get up. So I was sitting here the whole time, and she had people. I didn’t have a dog walker until maybe over the summer. It was a village.
Extremely lucky. And my main group chat came all the time. There are five of us. So, there was always someone to help her.
What do you look for in a dog dad?
He needs to understand that Croissant is a priority. She’s always going to be a priority. It’s always great if her future dog dad has a dog, so that he already knows the ins and outs of being a parent, and how important it is to be present for your child. He has to have an income. He has to have a career. I am now on two boards for two different nonprofits, UNICEF Next Generation Steering Committee and Young New Yorkers Board of Directors. So I’m obsessed with helping people, and it wouldn’t be a negative if he’s like, “Oh hey, I love animal rescue. I do that on Saturdays.”
We’ll put that out into the universe.
Croissant is a loving girl. She loves too hard. That’s a big problem. She loves everyone.
What do you think you have in common with Croissant?
We’re very luxurious, Croissant and I—we want the best. I work so that she has the best. We both like to rest. We like to nap a lot. We like to have wine or champagne outside. She has water. But we’re definitely very similar in our energy. She’s way more loving. She taught me be more affectionate, because I was never that affectionate.
Has Croissant helped you stay grounded despite your glamorous line of work?
She is balance, because I’m not going to stay out all night. I have a dog. And my dog needs to go outside, because it’s either outside, or it’s on my floor. Pick a battle. I used to stay out forever.
I’ve noticed you’re wearing a beautiful cross. How do you feel about dogs and spirituality?
My friend, Greg is a jeweler and he made this. Croissant, did Grandma baptize you? I go to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and I get holy water for Croissant. Croissant is a Catholic girl—we are a Catholic household.
Photography by Tayler Smith
Makeup by Lakeisha Dale