“The deeper you get into this fashion game, the more risks you’ll take.” Wise words from Dave Fung and Yena Kim, the founders of the hottest Tumblr on the Internet right now, Menswear Dog.
The spotlight of course is on Bodhi, their three year-old Shiba Inu, the most dapper, well-dressed dog in New York City. Between photo shoots of Bodhi dressed to impress in a range of outfits, we’re talking Don Draper-esque suits and a ready to party like a rockstar floral tie and leather jacket combo (no doubt this summer’s hottest trend), Dave and Yena have their hands full. With several projects in the works this year for Menswear Dog, we’re thrilled that they had time to sit down with Wantering for this exclusive interview.
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Dave, Yena and Bodhi.
All the attention is usually on Bodhi but we want to hear about the brains behind Menswear Dog. We know you started the blog out of boredom one winter day so tell us more about yourselves.
We’re Dave Fung and Yena Kim, a 28 year old graphic designer and 26 year old fashion designer respectively.
Dave: I grew up just outside of Boston and moved to NYC after college to run with the big boys of design…and to chase a girl.
Yena: I’m Korean but I’ve lived in India up until college. Then I moved to the US and met this guy right here.
Dave: My personal style has evolved over the years, trying to figure out what was right for me, but I’d say I’ve found my comfort zone in heritage menswear; classic staples done right. When I go shopping now, I try to ask myself, “Is this the (thing) I want forever?” If it’s not, I put it back. It really does help me in deciphering what’s what in this fashion game…and keeps my bank account in check.
Yena: I’d say mine is a delicate balance between broke fashion student vintage (which really means dirty second-hand) and a few investment pieces I gathered over the years. I always find myself obsessing over a single item. I have 5 pairs of the same kind of black vintage pixie boots because the 5th pair was the perfect one. The other 4 will remain abandoned in my closet. I’d like to think that my personal style is easy-eccentric; not being afraid to wear just a white T-shirt and jeans but also being okay with wearing like a hundred rings with that outfit.
How does NYC inspire you?
What can you say about one of the most inspirational cities in the world? We basically get a daily front-row seat to the most eclectic catwalk there is. You see people from all walks of life showcasing their own unique style and often, it’s up-close-and-personal, so you really get to take it in. You also get to see extremes; guys in suits that cost more than your car, to rigs that nobody in their right mind should ever wear; it gives you guardrails to carve out where you fit in.
We love MWD’s fashion tips featured on Mashable. What’s been the biggest fashion lesson you’ve learned from styling Bodhi?
That you can’t compete with a Shiba Inu.
You’ve been featured all over the place, including Time, Bergdorf Goodman and Anderson Cooper. What’s been the most memorable experience you’ve had so far?
Honestly, every time we post something new to the blog, it’s the most addicting feeling in the world. All the press stuff ends up being pretty secondary. That rush of sharing something you’ve created for the world to see and getting instant feedback is the best. I think that’s why we’ve started experimenting with the blog a bit more, because it’s just fun to see where we can push it and how people respond.
What is your personal motto or mantra?
We’ve said this in a few other interviews but it’s to simply, “Do You.” You can’t ever go wrong if you’re true to yourself and what feels right for you.
Who are your personal style icons?
Dave: Ryan Gosling is a clear choice for me. I’ve never paid so much attention to a man’s clothing than I do with any of Baby Goose’s films. I also think Brandon Flowers from the Killers is one of the most stylish musicians of all time.
Yena: Alexa Chung and Erin Wasson for me.
If you could do a shoot with Bodhi and one other person, who would it be?
Definitely Snoop Lion.
Dave, Bodhi started off wearing all your clothes. Since MWD has gone viral, have you stuck to your own aesthetic when dressing him, or have you ventured out and tried to incorporate Bodhi’s ‘style’ into the shots?
At first it was definitely a reflection of my own personal style, but we’ve started to treat MWD with more flexibility so we’re not so limited. It allows us to style some looks that I wouldn’t have the balls to wear in real life.
We see you have a calendar coming out in 2014 - congrats! What else is coming up for you in 2013 and beyond?
Thanks! Yup, our calendar drops in July, but we’re also working on a book proposal for a style bible of sorts which we’re pumped about, and an eventual MWD-branded fashion line for dogs. We’re quite excited about it all and we hope that people out there still enjoy what we’re doing.
If you could give one piece of advice to your 14 year-old self, what would it be?
Put the Jnco’s back on the rack, and walk away.
To find out what your personal style is, come take a fun style quiz on Wantering at www.wantering.com.