How a dog modeling menswear makes $15,000 a month

How a dog modeling menswear makes $15,000 a month

It began as a "Zoolander" spoof, but the New York couple who launched a Tumblr that showed their dog dressed in preppy clothes say it's become a big business for their fur-covered menswear model.

According to Yena Kim and David Fung, Bodhi — their 5-year-old shiba inu — earns "ruffly" $15,000 a month.

“When we first dressed him up for fun [in spring 2013], he started posing for us, and doing like Blue Steel and Magnum,” said Fung, a 29-year-old graphic designer, referring to modeling poses from the film. “We originally posted his photo to Facebook as a gag,” Fung told Fast Company.

Thanks to the Internet's seemingly insatiable appetite for pets dressed as humans, the gag went viral. Bodhi gained thousands of followers on Tumblr (224,000), Instagram (154,000) and Facebook (91,000). He also attracted interest from dozens of outfitters, including Coach, Ted Baker and Brooks Brothers, and a slew of magazines, including Esquire, Nylon and GQ. There's also a Menswear Dog book in the works.

The bookings allowed Kim — a 27-year-old former Ralph Lauren staffer — and Fung to quit their day jobs to focus on Menswear Dog full time.

“When I left my job," Kim said, "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.’”

The pair say they were even approached by Ben Lashes, better known as the "meme agent" who helped turn Grumpy Cat into a global phenomenon.

“He reached out to us early on, but he wanted to take 20 percent," Kim said. "It meant he would take care of the creative aspects, which we weren’t ready to give up.”

Still, Kim said, “We don’t really see it as a business, because we’re not really businesspeople."