Fashion’s latest It girl – a 10–year–old Italian greyhound from Montreal – has had a big year. Catapulted into the spotlight in December after a TikTok video of her modelling all the outfits she couldn’t wear out (because of the pandemic) went viral, she earned praise from Lizzo, Whoopi Goldberg, Priyanka Chopra Jonas – and even made it into Vogue. Since then, Tika has graced the cover of Clin d’oeil magazine, made a virtual appearance at Paris Fashion Week, announced nominees for the Billboard Music Awards and worked with designers across the globe. But no matter where she goes next, fashion comes first for Tika, and she always dresses to impress: “I have lots of bright and colourful track suits and onesies that make a statement when I walk up and down the aisle on the airplane.”
The Internet’s most stylish dog – who has over a million followers (and counting) on both TikTok and Instagram – shows us what she packs for her international fashion escapades.
enRouteYour “love it, couldn’t wear it” video catapulted you onto the world stage. How has your life changed since then?
TikaBeing stopped on the street is nothing new to me (people have always been curious about my outfits) so I feel like I’ve managed to stay grounded. But let’s just say my dads and my agent have been quite busy! Being feature in Vogue was a dream come true, I’ve always loved fashion, but this gave me the confidence to take my outfits to the next level.
eRWhat’s been the most exciting thing to happen to you since your video went viral?
TThis past year has been full of “pinch–me” moments, but my favourite so far was when I received a personalized video from Whoopi Goldberg, who also wore two of my sweaters on her show! That was fun.
eRWho’s your favourite designer right now?
TMy favourite designer at the moment is Christian Siriano, his creations are always so stylish and joyful. He created a beautiful purple–ombre dress for me to wear in celebration of the Academy Awards this past spring, and it’s one of my favourite pieces in my wardrobe. Some other designers I love are Ashi Studio, Marc Bouwer and Shantelle Design.
eRWhere do you like to travel? Do you have any favourite dog–friendly destinations?
TMy favourite kinds of trips are to visit family and friends, but I’m a city girl at heart so it may be no surprise that two of my favourite destinations are Toronto (Trinity Bellwoods Park) and New York City (Central Park, of course). When I need a little R&R, you can find me at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth or Le Germain in Montreal.
eRWhere do you plan to travel next?
TThe plan is to visit Chicago and Vancouver. I’d love to make a trip to LA in the near future; I think I’d look good in Hollywood. A dream destination would be Italy, to visit the country of my ancestors (I am an Italian greyhound after all).
eRYou’re a self–described “gay icon” – why is it important for you to show support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community?
TMy fans started calling me a “gay icon” because I have two dads and fabulous outfits, but now that I have this platform and a voice, I think it’s important to give back to my community. One of my favourite charities we’ve partnered with is Rainbow Railroad, they help LGTBQ+ people around the world escape persecution from their countries and seek a safer life here in Canada. We’ve raised over $10,000 in the past year for them and hope to keep raising awareness for important causes in our community.
eRWhat kind of packer are you?
TI’ve learned to be a very efficient packer while travelling, as I have to bring many different types of clothing. Whether I have a meet and greet, photoshoot or I’m strolling around my destination, I always love to look and feel my best.
What’s in Tika’s Bag?
BonGoof Shakeurbooties — I have very delicate paws, so whether I’m dealing with cold snow or hot pavement, these booties keep my feet protected.
Valentino leash — I have a large collection of leashes to choose from at home, but when travelling I usually bring my Valentino leash with its iconic studs. It’s super–sleek, and pink goes with everything.
Femmina dog perfume — My sense of smell is stronger than a human’s, so after a flight I like to refresh with a quick spritz of my dog perfume.
Stuffed Tika — This plush Tika is my travel companion, and she’s also a great body double for lighting tests at photo shoots while I get my beauty rest.
Grig Paris trench coat and top — I always pack my trench coat in my carry–on in case I need a little extra coverage upon arrival. Paired with my favourite striped turtleneck, it’s my top travel staple.
I Made That Bag fanny pack — A girl always needs a small travel bag for daily outings, and I love this custom fanny pack. I keep a photo of my dads inside in case I ever feel homesick and one of them isn’t with me.
Tika’s top tips for travelling with pets
Make sure your pet loves their carrier, as that will be their quarters while travelling. I even like to sleep in mine when I’m at home.
Consider the timing of your flights, and if possible, pick a time that works for your pet’s normal routine. We usually fly during mealtimes, so I can eat on board to keep my occupied.
Bring a collapsible bowl for water – airplanes are dry, and everyone gets thirsty!