Southern California

Designer to Serena Williams and Hilary Duff Creates Fire Resistant Jacket…for Horses

Celebrity designer Dalia MacPhee creates fire-retardant horse blankets with GPS-tracking technology.

Her clothes have been a staple in celebrity closets, but her latest design can only be found in horse stables. 

LA-based fashion designer, Dalia MacPhee, is used to dressing the likes of Serena Williams, Alyssa Milano, and Hilary Duff. But her latest design is aimed at a very different clientel, a fire-retardant blanket with GPS-tracking technology.

The "Equisafe Blanket" aims to help a horse's chance at surviving a fire. The design hones in on situations when horses are let loose in a last ditch effort to save them. This scenario is becoming much more common, and is often the result of road closures or not evacuating large animals early enough.

Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Erik Scott says that not only will we be seeing more fires in Southern California, but the fires we do see will be more intense and last longer than past fires.

This invention will help horse caretakers protect their horses from superficial burns, while also tracking their whereabouts after the initial evacuation orders, and after the fire hazard lessens, since each blanket is equipped with its own GPS-tracking technology.

MacPhee says she was inspired to design the Equisafe Blanket after the Lilac Fire, "they were told to let all the horses loose, it was the right thing to do, but it still broke my heart." 

MacPhee's own horse, Woflie, also had to be evacuated during a recent fire.

"They said, 'set the horses loose, or hose them down so they burn slower.' Can you imagine?"

Her first hand experience with fires in Southern California prompted her shift from celebrity dress design, to a creation that married horse safety with wearable technology.

"We encourage fire-resistant blankets as well as identifiable microchips or bracelets to track animals separated during a fire," Scott said. "Preparedness is especially important now that Southern California is seeing an increase in the size, frequency, and duration of fires.

"Most of all we encourage those looking after horses to understand the importance of needing to evacuate early due to the extra time required to safely evacuate large animals."

The Equisafe blanket costs between $180 for the blanket to $300 for the version which includes the GPS tracker. 

Aliya-Jasmine caught up with the designer on NBC4's social media platforms. You can watch that video above, and be sure to follow us at @NBCLA

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