Lisa Lu is a fashion publicist who currently heads PR and events at the iconic New York City department store, Bergdorf Goodman. Previously, she worked at Black Frame, KCD, Escada, and 3.1 Phillip Lim. Her Chelsea, Manhattan apartment is a treasure trove of Chanel shoes, Diptyque candles, Supreme skate decks, and Kong toys—which makes the perfect spot for sheltering in place with her Boston Terrier-Poodle mix, Stella, an expert at lounging in bed all day.
First of all, how are you two doing? How has Stella been a source of comfort to you during this pandemic?
I’m thankful to have her because she’s literally keeping me sane. I would be talking to myself if she weren’t here. She’s been helping me establish routine—otherwise I would be laying around in pajamas all day. I still have to get dressed and walk her. But in terms of [providing] comfort, Stella is no emotional support animal. You know those videos of dogs coming to the rescue when they see someone with anxiety? Yeah, that’s not Stella. She has zero sense of anything being wrong, but that helps, too—she helps me maintain some normalcy.
“Once I met Stella, I suddenly fell in love with all dogs.”
Did you grow up with dogs?
I did not! My sister and I had always wanted one, but my mother is, well, an Asian mother for one, and also a single mother. She didn’t want or need one more thing to take care of.
Did you always know you were a dog person?
You know what, I had a bad experience with a neighbor’s dog once. So, it’s weird that I turned out to be a dog person. Once I met Stella, I suddenly fell in love with all dogs.
That always happens.
My sister and I actually got Stella for our mom, since we no longer lived at home. We were getting a lot of guilt trips from Mom about how lonely she was. So, we decided to get her a dog for her birthday. “Just try it out for a month,” we told her. “You’ll love her.” But a week later, she called us and said, “You’ve got to take her.” Stella was just a six-month-old puppy who cried a lot—the typical puppy thing. So, I took her back to New York City, and I couldn’t part with her. Stella became my dog. Funny enough, my mom loves her now, and spoils her all the time!
How did you get Stella?
I wish I could say I adopted her, but I wasn’t well-versed in the difference between adoption versus breeding at the time. I got her from a breeder. She’s a Bossi-Poo—a Boston Terrier-Poodle mix. I just loved that she had a scruffy little face and that she wasn’t your stereotypical pretty dog.
“She’s my dating filter. If there’s a guy that can’t vibe with her, that’s a deal breaker for me. You have to love my dog first.”
Were you prepared to have a dog in the city?
Not really! But fortunately, I worked with Phillip Lim, and he had a dog and the office was dog friendly, so there were actually multiple dogs running around. I was able to take Stella to work, and Phillip was totally chill with it. We were very fortunate.
You have such great taste and you work with some amazing fashion houses. What are some of your favorite dog brands?
Stella and I are both into a bit of streetwear. I like mixing, so I don’t have any luxury dog products for her yet, but we shopped on Pawmain and got her those Pupreme hoodies. Because I work at Bergdorf’s, I came across this Thom Browne harness that I’d love to get for Stella someday. The Moncler dog vests are so expensive and so obvious, but they’re practical and pretty fun. But as for toys, she doesn’t do anything other than the Kong Extreme. She’s a minimalist and obsessive Kong fanatic.
I recently discovered this pet store called The Basic Concept. It sells very Scandi-looking accessories, like a dog house for $500. I got one of these nice little rubber placemats in cool millennial colors.
As for food, Stella eats The Farmer’s Dog and Trader Joe’s dog food. But right now, since I’m at home all day, I’ve been cooking for her. I recently made a pot of ground chicken, green beans, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
Tell us about Stella’s grooming routine.
We love that one, too! How do you define your relationship with Stella? Do you consider yourself a dog mom?
Stella is definitely my best friend. I talk about how she’s my best buddy all the time. When she spends time with my mom, I miss her very much. It’s so nice to come home and somebody is always happy to see you. She’s also my dating filter.
Oh, really? Please elaborate on that.
She’s not for everyone. The minute you walked through the door, she’s jumping on you, and you have to put up with that. If there’s a guy that can’t vibe with her, that’s a deal breaker for me. You have to love my dog first.
Photography by Tayler Smith