an exclusive interview with marc jacobs' dog neville
The most beloved four-legged friend in fashion tells us what life’s like when your friends are models, you only fly by private jet, you have a new Rizzoli book coming out, and you’re also a dog.
Neville Jacobs excels at selfies. Especially considering he does not have opposable thumbs. His new Rizzoli book — not-so-secretly ghostwritten by Nicolas Newbold, Marc Jacobs' righthand man and Neville's studio manager — features 200 images of the sweet-natured bull terrier on his evolution from puppyhood to top model confidant. He poses with Hanne Gaby Odiele in the streets of Soho, goes for walks with Christy Turlington, and naps with Georgia May Jagger. This glamorous life, along with his adorable nose, is why his Instagram accounthas a following of over 190,000 fans.
The book also documents Neville's active role at Marc Jacobs HQ, providing a glimpse, with a wink, into the studio's inner workings. Neville is there during castings and shoots, sits in on (read: sleeps through) meetings, and occasionally tries on a pair of platform boots or nuzzles his way into a handbag. But more than just a portrait of a very, very cute and beloved office mascot, Neville Jacobs: I'm Marc's Dog is a testament to his owner's total devotion. In his foreword to the book, Jacobs gives his thanks to Neville, who, he says, "calms me like nothing or no one ever has — and who fills my heart with the greatest happiness and joy, forever reminding me that pure goodness and true love really exist."
Because he's a good dog, Neville also uses his celebrity for a worthy cause. Last year, he became the face of Jacobs' charity T-shirt campaign to benefit the Sato Project, a non-profit that rescues and rehabilitates abandoned dogs from Puerto Rico. It's a cause Neville continues to promote on his Instagram, along with his perfectly honed personal brand, and a portion of all proceeds from sales of the book will support the organisation.
We asked Neville if Marc is ever an embarrassing dad, and about the time he kidnapped Cara Delevingne.
Marc says he loves your "expressive little triangular eyes" — what do you think your best feature is and why?I'd say the overall shape of my head. It seems to bring folks a lot of amusement.
Can you talk us through a day in your life?I usually wake up and go straight outside to take care of business. Then I go back inside eat breakfast and wait for my dad to get ready for work. Then we head to the office… I'm usually pretty tired from sleeping 12 hours so I take a nap when I get to the office. Then I have a training lesson in the afternoon (with Charlie, my best friend/colleague) and then Jan comes by sometime in the afternoon and we take a walk (although it's a lot more like a sit) on Crosby Street, get some sun and see what's happening in the neighbourhood. Then it's usually a few more hours of napping or trying to get in a trash can or two for some snacks before heading home for dinner and TV time with dad. It's pretty straightforward!
What are your secrets for remaining so calm in your very busy office environment?Maybe I was born with it? I've just never sweat the small stuff.
Your dad and Nicolas have both said you like to rummage through the office trash cans. What do you find on a good day?Last week I found half a chicken, two pieces of cornbread, and a giant pile of cooked rice, and then a few hours later I found a trash can full of perfectly good Smile To Go leftover vegetables in a waste bin on the 9th floor so I ate everything. And. It. Was. Delicious.
How much creative sway do you hold with your dad? Have you ever put your paw down about any of his decisions?I've got a lot of sway when it comes to getting biscuits. Apart from that, I'm pretty easy going (except I really don't like walking, so then it's all four paws down!).
What's your favourite of your dad's collections, and why?There's a sweater from spring/summer 16 that I wore for the cover of my book that I'm quite fond of.
You mention in the book that you once kidnapped Cara Delevingne during fashion week. Can you elaborate on that?Many a year ago, Cara came through our office for a fitting. She was super cool. We were just a couple of kids goofing around!
What are the most important things about modeling you've learned from your friends in the industry?Don't take yourself too seriously. Know your angles.
What's your favorite outfit? And has your dad ever made you wear anything you were embarrassed by?He knows a thing or two about fashion, I love all the sweater choices he makes for me in the winter time!
Does Marc have any embarrassing dad traits in general?Nah, he's pretty perfect in my eyes.
I saw your beautiful Architectural Digest cover story. Which of your dad's pieces of furniture is your favorite to defile?Ha! I've got manners! I don't defile anything… Believe it or not I'm a well-behaved civilized dog.
"Neville Jacobs: I'm Marc's Dog" by Nicolas Newbold is out this month through Rizzoli. rizzoliusa.com