Meet Bodhi the dog, the Shiba Inu named after the iconic Patrick Swayze character in Point Break that has graced publications such as GQ, Nylon, Time, and Esquire. This dog is making waves across the fashion world, and of course, the internet.
Bodhi is not just your average model. The 5-year-old Shiba Inu is a menswear dog, the most stylish dog in the world.
Bodhi’s owners, Yena Kim and her boyfriend David Fung, unknowingly kick-started Bodhi’s journey in the Menswear Dog business when they began uploading his “poses” on Facebook to poke fun at the manicured self-seriousness of Fashion Tumblr.
“When we first dressed him up for fun [in spring 2013], he started posing for us, and doing like Blue Steel and Magnum,” recalled Fung, a graphic designer naming modeling poses from Zoolander. “We originally posted his photo to Facebook as a gag.”
Luckily for Fung and Kim, Bodhi’s success in the industry has allowed the couple to quit their full-time jobs in April 2013. That industry has gone on to build a massive fan base online. On Instagram (148k followers), Facebook (91k likes) and Tumblr (224k followers).
“When I left my job, everyone in my immediate office knew [what was going on], but I just told HR I was starting a company I didn’t want to be like, ‘I’m leaving you guys to dress up my dog.'”
Bodhi is no slouch either, since his breakthrough campaign with Coach (the first brand to reach out to them) he has gone on to work for famous brands such as Victorinox Swiss Army, American Apparel, Salvatore Ferragamo, ASOS, Revlon, Purina (which includes a monthly contract), Korean department store Comodo Square (for whom Menswear Dog is their unofficial mascot), and a cornucopia of other fashionable brands.
Recently, the couple told the Daily Mirror that are working on a clothing line for dogs and hope to raise money to sponsor rescue animals.
“We’re trying to come out with a line of sweaters and jackets for other dogs,” Kim stated.
Because of such endorsement deals, Bodhi can rake an estimate of $15,000 a month. Not bad for a career that started off as a “gag.”
As Bodhi continues to make waves in the Menswear Dog industry, we are reminded of the wisdom of the original Patrick Swayze’s character, “Why be a servant to the law, when you can be its master?”
Bodhi the dog seems to be the living embodiment of that wisdom.
[Photos: Joel Arbaje for Fast Company]