The French bulldog may be the most popular dog in the city, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC) — and the arm candy of choice for celebs from Lady Gaga to Snoop Dogg -— but his cousin is on the rise.
The striking bull terrier — characterized by his large, egg-shaped head, perked ears and muscular stature — is having a moment. In the late ’80s, Spuds MacKenzie and his Budweiser commercials brought the breed some fame, as did Target’s mascot Bullseye in the aughts, but now the dog is going high fashion.
Marc Jacobs’ pup Neville commands an Instagram following of more than 147,000 (@nevillejacobs), and his face graces popular loafers by the designer. Another bull terrier named Jimmy Choo, owned by Brazilian visual artist Rafael Mantesso, is featured on a new collection of accessories from the luxe label that is his namesake.
Mantesso has a whopping 259,000 followers on his Instagram account (@rafaelmantesso), which mostly features pictures of Jimmy (the dog, that is), and is publishing a book of photos called “A Dog Named Jimmy” in September.
Fans of the breed say it’s no surprise that the dogs have been embraced by the fashion world.
“Bull terriers are great models; they really want to sit still for a picture and seem to enjoy it, too,” says Lonneke Engel, 34, the recently retired face of Ralph Lauren and owner of a tan-and-white bull terrier named Vito. The 12-year-old dog attracts more than 5,000 fans to his Instagram feed (@vitothedog). “That’s why Neville, Jimmy and Vito have so many followers.”