With 401,000 Instagram followers, lucrative appearances in GQ and Time Magazine, Yena Kim’s eleven-year-old Shiba Inu, Bodhi, has affectionately clawed his way to the top.
How did you get the idea to put Bodhi in menswear?
Around seven years ago, I was a designer for Ralph Lauren’s black label for women. On a whim, I decided to dress him up in some finely layered menswear that my then-partner had lying around. I fully expected him to flash a side eye of disapproval and scurry away, but to my shock and delight, Bodhi sat there smiling. He reveled at my excitement as I scrambled to snap a few photos.
Did you ever imagine the two of you would have such success on social media?
I never imagined the response and outpouring of love that Bodhi received on the internet. I think the photographs’ surreal nature and Bodhi’s almost-human looks in these highly curated outfits gave him a certain aura of mystery and notoriety. Within days of launching our blog and Instagram page, my phone and inbox were blowing up with requests for collaborations.
How would you describe your dog’s personal style? Does he have a favorite outfit?
Bodhi’s personal style is classic and timeless with a special love for vintage heritage items, plus a pinch of street style. I’d like to think his favorite outfits are the ones I custom-made for him.
What’s your favorite season to dress Bodhi?
Because layering is so essential in menswear, my favorite seasons to dress him are the fall and winter seasons. It’s also a wonderful time to sport varieties of hats and accessories.
How has COVID-19 affected Bodhi?
During the quarantine, we decided to adopt a six-month-old Jindo named “Luc” from Korean K9 Rescue. All of a sudden, Bodhi became a big brother to this young, playful puppy who kept him busy and entertained. The professional campaigns haven’t stopped but have been slower this year.
What are the “must have” items every well-dressed dog should have in their wardrobe?
A crisp white shirt to layer with sweaters, a cozy cardigan, a snazzy black bowtie, a few well-fitted sweaters in varying weights, a rain poncho, a printed/ Hawaiian shirt, and sunglasses.
How can a pet owner promote their dog on social media?
Identify the most special thing about your dog and focus on that. Whatever genuinely makes you laugh at home is what’s going to resonate with the public.
Find a spot near a window. Experiment with different angles to bring out the best in your dog’s facial expressions and body language.