President of Next Model Management Amanda Bretherton talks to us about bringing her Westiepoo Alfie to work with her and why he is the perfect fashion dog.
What are you working on at the moment?
The London Fashion Week shows!
What breed is Alfie and why did you choose him?
Alfie is a Westiepoo. His father was a Toy White Poodle called Mr Pip and his mother was a West Highland White Terrier. I chose him because I love the Westie face but also wanted a poodle-mix so his coat did not moult.
Alfie has a massive following on social – how did you build this up?
He was originally posted in a picture by Rita Ora on her Instagram when he was on a shoot with her for Marks & Spencer – it got 36,000 likes in 5 minutes! Unfortunately he didn’t have an Instagram account at that point, otherwise he would have probably got a lot of followers in just one day. He is well-known throughout the fashion industry and his funny Instagram @alfiefashiondog has been passed on through word of mouth. He has some famous followers such as Binx Walton and Suki Waterhouse, and I guess he has attracted some of their followers. Alfie has recently been named by elle.com and MailOnline as one of the top Instagram pets.
Fashion Week is in town – does Alfie attend the shows?
Naturally! He sits front row at Matthew Williamson and Mulberry, and is always backstage. The models all look out for him and want to pet him!
What makes Alfie the perfect fashion dog?
Alfie is never greedy and never begs. He watches his waistline and has impeccable taste. He is very mild mannered and never barks at the visitors who come into the agency each day which really helps. Alfie also has an impeccably stylish, on-trend fluffy coat which he never takes off! No matter how hot… He is always being sent designer gifts too – especially from Mulberry, Dsquared2, walkthedog.com and, of course, PetsPyjamas!
How long have you had him?
I’ve had him for two years, since he was 8 weeks old.
Does he come with you to work?
Every day – he never misses a day in the office, even when he’s feeling sick.
What difference does he make to your life?
He is everyone’s best friend at Next! You never feel lonely as Alfie is always by your side.
Do you take him on holiday with you and if so where?
Alfie has just enjoyed a two week holiday in Cornwall and we stayed at the dog-friendly Hotel Tresanton. He also adores the Old Swan & Minster Mill hotel in Oxfordshire – it’s perfect for fashion pooches in every way. They give Alfie a bandana every time he stays there!
Does he have any funny ways or have there been any funny incidents involving Alfie?
He was once seen sitting front row at the Alexander Wang show in New York between Carine Roitfeld and Rihanna!
Anything you feel strongly about regarding pet welfare?
Yes – a dog is for life and should not be left alone all day! All dogs should have the right to work in an office with their owners. Alfie has also campaigned against the awful dog cruelty in China.
Do you take Alfie with you to restaurants and does he have any favourites?
Beach Blanket Babylon in Notting Hill Gate allows canine friends and is a favourite! We also like The Cricketers in Cobham and, of course, The Old Swan in Minster Lovell where they serve Alfie his own chicken dish at the table.
Where are Alfie’s favourite places to exercise?
Alfie loves to join me at the No. 1 Bootcamp in Heacham Norfolk and he can always be spotted in Ravenscourt Park where he is quite a celebrity.