Danielle and Gabby Prescod are sisters, BFFs, native New Yorkers, and fashion editors based in Manhattan. Danielle is the style director at BET.com where she oversees the digital lifestyle content and Gabby Prescod is style lead and senior market editor at Bustle, where she styles photoshoots, conducts market research, and handles fashion direction. They grew up with Harry Potter, their yellow lab rescue, who does not like to wear clothes.
Did the two of you grow up with dogs?
Gabby: So, Harry is actually our second family dog. Our parents had a dog before they had kids and our parents were married for eight years before they had kids. That’s a long time. They always tell us that they wanted to know if they were going to be good parents, so they decided to get a dog first, to test themselves and see, if they can handle a dog then maybe they can have kids.
Danielle: Our first dog was Apollo. He was also a yellow lab rescue, but he was more lab than Harry is, so from the time I was a baby and the time Gabby was a baby, we always had a dog in the house. And my parents put Apollo down when I was eight, in third grade. He just had really crazy arthritis in his back hips, and we live in an old colonial house, and we have a lot of stairs in our house, so it just got very difficult for him. And of course, I did not find out that they actually put him down until I was in college. They told us on accident on Thanksgiving one day.
All we wanted was a dog after Apollo. But we were really busy. We had a really active lifestyle and did all the sports. It really wasn’t going to be a situation where we could actually have a dog, and also have all those other things going on in our lives. So, me being the enterprising child that I was, I started volunteering at a vet’s office, to learn how to take care of dogs. Every Saturday, I would go to the vet for three hours, and I would clean kennels, and I would sit in on appointments, and I would learn things about dogs. And it’s so crazy, because I did that for two years, and to this day, I will see a friend’s dog and be like, oh, your dog has an ear infection. They’re like, how do you know that?
Gabby: We knew that we also had to get our dad on our side first. Because we knew that our mom was going to be the difficult one, because ultimately she would be the one that would be taking care of the dog. So, we broke down our dad first. There was a pet adoption event at our local Petco. Dad was like, don’t worry, we’re just looking, we’re not actually going to get a dog.
Danielle: But then we saw Harry and we couldn’t put him down. And we got him on the spot. He was eight weeks old. A tiny puppy.
Tell us about your close sisterhood. How often do you see each other?
Gabby: We see each other pretty often. I want to say at least five times a week. That’s also just because we work in the same industry. We see each other at appointments or are invited to the same events or dinners. But we talk a minimum of an hour on the phone every day. We’re best friends. We even have a joint Instagram.
So, does that make Harry your brother?
Gabby: I don’t know. Someone actually asked me this question early: Do you consider Harry your kid or your brother? It oscillates. I would consider him a part of the family.
Danielle: We’ve always treated the dog like our kid. When we had Apollo, Apollo was more like our stuffed animal. Gabby and I would always fight over who got to feed him and who got to brush him. It was so strange. We would be so enthusiastic. But that’s not really like a brother. It’s more like something that you just want to take care of.
How did you settle upon the name Harry Potter? Does he share any traits with the Boy Who Lived?
Danielle: We didn’t really know anything about Harry when we got him. He didn’t really have a personality or anything yet, but he did have certain distinctive markings. He has a white mark in the middle of his head, and it’s gotten a little bit faded, as he’s gotten older. But it used to a white dot in the middle of his head. That’s how we ended up on Harry Potter. We just thought it was funny and then it just stuck. It was pretty much the only thing that everyone agreed on.
Harry currently lives with your parents up in Westchester County. Did he ever live with either of you in Manhattan?
Danielle: Harry actually lived with me for most of 2017 and part of 2018 because my parents were renovating their house. They were having a lot of workers come in and out, and Harry’s super friendly. He won’t do anything, but he does have a big bark. So my parents were like, it’s probably easier if you just keep him here in Manhattan. I was just going through a really hard time in general, and it was very helpful to focus on the dog. Harry and I hung out every day. We went to the park, and it was funny having a dog here, because I really was so focused on the dog, I didn’t want to do anything else.
I would feel guilty if I had a social engagement. I was trying to come home from work very, very early, or I would work from home a lot, so that I could hang out with him. And he’s very used to being home by himself! But I just felt so bad. I would be like, no, I have to go home now—at 3pm.
Gabby: When he hangs out at Danielle’s house, she takes him on walks four or five days a day.
What about you, Gabby? Did Harry ever come with you to fashion appointments?
Gabby: No, not for me, at least. He came with me to work at Interview magazine once, which was interminably insane, because my parents went away. They were on a trip to Jamaica, and usually, Harry stays with Danielle. When I was working at Interview, my schedule was so unpredictable that I couldn’t have him, because I’d be gone for 15 hours at a time, and that’s really not okay.
So I decided to bring him to the office the day of a run-through of a major photoshoot that we had, and it was crazy. But our creative director is a huge fan of dogs, so his assistant was like, “Oh, why don’t we just give our creative director the bad news by putting all the looks that aren’t confirmed on a chain around your dog’s neck, and then just send your dog into the run-through.” I was like, absolutely not.
You didn’t actually do that, right?
Gabby: No! He was following me around the office for a little bit. And he had a torn ACL at the time, so he was limping around the office, and I had to lock him in a coworker’s office, so he wouldn’t follow me. Everyone at Interview was so nice. My coworkers took him on walks while I was in the run-through. It was a team effort.
Oh, that sounds like a great day for Harry! At least Harry enjoyed his day. Do the two of you talk to Harry?
Danielle: Oh yeah, I talk to Harry—
Gabby: All the time! Our parents will put him on FaceTime. When Danielle went to college while I was still in high school, I was home by myself. Danielle and I would talk by Facebook, texting, and email because our schedules didn’t match up. I would literally talk to Harry: “This is what happened to me today. Can you believe it?!” I still do this when I go to my parents’ house and there is no one else around.
Danielle: It’s very easy to talk to a dog, if you spend a lot of time together, like it’s a person. But Harry’s also good for non-verbal communication.
Where do you like to take Harry in Manhattan?
Danielle: When I went to NYU, we used to take Harry to this Mexican restaurant called Caliente in the West Village because you can sit outside.
Gabby: Yeah, our dad worked in the city, and our mom works in the city, so in the summer, we’d all go to Caliente to get drinks and appetizers together.
Danielle: We used to take Harry to the Meatpacking District. We would sit outside. We saw Drake there once—before he was Drake.
How did you both know you wanted to work in fashion? Did one influence the other in any way?
Gabby: I would definitely say so, because I remember when Danielle got her first internship. She was 18, and I was 16. She was working at Nylon, and she would come home and tell me all of these stories about what was going on at the magazine. When I wanted to intern too, I had to prove to Danielle I wasn’t just doing it because she was doing it. But she’s always been really supportive and she’s always helped me get internships if I wanted them, so she definitely influenced me.
Danielle: It was also a time when working at magazines was a Thing. There were reality shows about it. I went to school in the city, where I could intern in the fall and spring, and that gave me an advantage. I graduated in 2010, and the recession happened in 2008, and I suddenly realized that you could graduate without a job. So I told Gabby, who was in school all the way in Connecticut, that she needed to intern as much as she could. And it actually turned out that it was really hard for her to get a job when she graduated college. When I was a senior in college, I already had a full-time job. I was going to class, but I was already working.
Both of you have such interesting Instagram feeds, and it’s such an important part of being a fashion editor now. How do you incorporate Instagram into your life and work?
Danielle: I treat work and Instagram very separately. I don’t advertise what I do on my Instagram account. People all the time tell me that they didn’t think that I had a job—they thought that I just did Instagram. I feel that a lot of companies can sometimes take advantage of people’s followings and they try to coalesce your platform and I think why I liked Instagram and Twitter early on was because I felt that I could say what I wanted, and that made a huge difference for me. Gabby and I talked about this other day, where there was a time where if you were at a magazine, you could directly work on the page and your name might not even be on that page.
You’re both young, but you’ve worked in the industry for a long time if you include your internships. Do you think the fashion industry has been making noticeable improvements in inclusivity and diversity and being open to criticism?
Gabby: The TommyxZendaya show that happened last month was what fashion should be. It was happy and diverse without trying to be like, I have to tick this box. I feel like fashion right now is trying to move towards just being diverse in general, but sometimes it does feel like checking a box. Like, we have our normal-size girl, we have our plus-size girl, we have our black girls, we have our Asian girls, we have our Hispanic girls. And that doesn’t feel as natural. But the Tommy Hilfiger show was like, oh yeah, this is how it should be.
Danielle: I think that if you’re a brand in this industry, and you are not actively participating in the conversation around this, then you’re choosing to be that way. And that’s very disturbing—but I think that is the majority of brands. It is very shocking, sometimes, to go to fashion shows. At a show last month, I was so shocked at how thin every single girl was. And I see skinny people all the time, it’s not an issue, but I was like, wow, they really want it known that they want these people to be that skinny and that’s all they care about. And it felt so archaic to me.
It’s not about the models, by the way. It’s not about you hiring Ashley Graham or a black girl or a Southeast Asian girl and paying her day rate, so that you have a photo to “prove” your commitment to diversity. It’s about who you employ day-to-day so that you don’t take advantage of any communities.
With all this talk about fashion, where do you shop for Harry?
Danielle: Harry’s an influencer now, so PetSmart sends him boxes of stuff. I shop on Etsy for him a lot. I got him a custom-made Harry Potter dog collar. I love finding weird indie brands that make anything you want.
Harry is a shedder—and the two of you have nice clothes. How do you avoid getting dog fur on everything?
Danielle: The whole family has Dysons. But there’s no match for the dog hair. It’s just picking your battles. Harry hasn’t been living at my house for months, and I still find dog hair. I ordered brand-new sweaters during the Thanksgiving sales, and they arrived with dog hair on them. How does this happen? Where is he? It’s unavoidable.
Gabby: I try not to wear black as much when I’m around Harry, but you wear what you wear. I’m absolutely going to be on the floor with the dog. There’s no way that he’s going to be around and I’m not going to try to smother him with love.
Photography by Tayler Smith