Laying Low with Stefan Siegel
Laying Low is a celebration of dogs and the ones that welcome them in. From beachside bungalows to architectural masterpieces, we are reminded that the simple presence of a dog can make a house a home.
Tell us a little about yourself - who you are, what you do and what you love?
I’m Stefan Siegel, born in an Italian ski town in the Alps. I live in LA now where I continue to run my fashion business, Not Just A Label, that I started in London over ten years ago. Besides helping emerging and sustainable fashion designers to be found, I love all things outdoor: from climbing mountains and skiing them down, surfing waves in California and flying a little four-seater airplane into the deserts as well as exploring the wilderness with my pup Ranger. Currently we are driving across the United States in an Airstream and sleeping under the stars.
Your pup at a glance:
Breed: Sable German Shepherd
Age: 16 Months
How would you describe your pup’s personalities?
Fearless. At 16 months this pup has done and seen more than I have in my first 16 years (!) of my life. He’s been on small planes, he’s been on surf and paddle boards. Last week he jumped off a boat into a lake on the border with Canada and in Texas his best friend was a Bison, whom he played with for hours.
Tell us about the first time you brought your dog on the road?
To see if Airstream life was for us, we rented one last summer and travelled to Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. Ranger was in heaven, from exploring a different wilderness every night to long naps in the car. What a life!
What sort of energy does your pup bring to your travels?Besides being a companion, Ranger has been in a Schutzhund training since he was three months old. We train pretty much every day, from tracking to obedience as well as protection exercises. We have stayed in complete wilderness where he can alert me, and sometimes we drive through rougher areas of the country and to have him on my side works as a great deterrent to sinister people – which we have certainly come across.
What is your favorite place you’ve taken the Airstream?
So far probably City of Rocks in New Mexico. Quite literally a city that was ‘built’ 35m years ago of vertical rocks that stand out from the desert grounds. It was a sacred spot to native Indians and now one of the most humbling and beautiful spots to camp at.
Describe your dog’s favorite spot to hang out and sleep at night.
The downside of Airstream life is that we couldn’t being his crate, which is his favorite spot to switch off and sleep. Ranger now moves from the sofa to the bed, to the spot between the bed and the aluminum wall and then back to his LAY LO bed. Wherever the coldest breeze hits his nose.
Describe your airstream and style.
This particular Airstream I live in is 27 foot long and comes with all the amenities. When I first moved in, I couldn’t believe that I was cooking, showering, sleeping and working just like I would at home. Even watching Netflix while parked in the middle of woods, as I am right now, is totally doable. The interiors of this specific model were designed with mid-century modern touches; dark walnut walls and cabinets, white marble countertops and dark grey upholstery.
If dogs and owners supposedly “look the same” does this reflect in the design of the home as well?
Of course, before starting this journey I was lucky to live in a mid-century modern home designed by a student of Richard Neutra in the Hollywood Hills. Many of its décor items have found a place within the Airstream.
What factors do you consider when buying pet supplies?
I apply the same philosophy that I have for fashion also to pet supplies: only buy well-designed, well-made and locally made products that will last a lifetime. Especially with pet supplies people have a tendency to buy a lot of cheap product, and given the chewing capabilities of a German Shepherd many things don’t last more than a day. Ranger’s toys are most training tools, which only come out when we train. For the rest he loves nature and always finds something to play with. Besides that, we have our Laylo bed, two bowls and a few beautiful leather leashes made in Amish communities – that is all we need.