It’s a misty fall afternoon in Central Park, and Bodhi, a handsome, slightly-big-for-his-breed Shiba Inu, is on edge. He’s yanking around one of his two humans, Yena Kim–a petite, 27-year-old fashion designer who used to work for Ralph Lauren–bending her to his will, tensing his leash as he darts after squirrels, birds, or whatever fast-moving creature happens to enter his canine view. At one point, at the base of a jagged rock outcropping, he spins in a circle, lifts one of his hind legs, and begins to relieve himself. A serene look creeps up his face, and his eyes enter a perma-squint. Suddenly, Bodhi is chill.
Bodhi, blessing the photoshoot
“He kind of likes to bless the areas where he shoots,” says Kim.
Named after Patrick Swayze’s wave-riding antihero in the iconic ’80s surfer bromance Point Break, you might not recognize Bodhi by his birth name. But once you layer on a gingham shirt and perhaps a tweed blazer, you might recognize the 5-year-old sheeb as his absurdly famous alter ego, Menswear Dog. Part unlikely fashion icon, part iconoclast conceived to poke fun at the manicured self-seriousness of Fashion Tumblr, Menswear Dog has become big business in his own right for Kim and her boyfriend David Fung.
“When we first dressed him up for fun [in spring 2013], he started posing for us, and doing like Blue Steel and Magnum,” says Fung, 29, a graphic designer naming modeling poses from Zoolander. “We originally posted his photo to Facebook as a gag.”