Alexander Johansson talks all things dogs, and tell us how his foster puppies managed to hijack his modelling career with their own campaign for Nieman Marcus…
The charity I work with is called Rescue City New York. It’s a non-profit organization based in Brooklyn, New York City, but they work to rescue dogs from all over America. They collaborate with different organizations everywhere from South America to the most northern parts of America, in order to help homeless dogs find “forever homes” in New York.
I’ve been supporting Rescue City since January 2018, when I got my first foster dog. My ex-girlfriend and I always wanted to get a dog of our own, but our schedules didn’t allow for it. Instead she found Rescue City, and introduced me to the organization.
After my first foster dog, I started to realize that there are so many homeless dogs in the USA, in need of help ASAP. I made my apartment in the Financial District of Manhattan a “Foster home” for dogs in need, as I wanted to try and help as many as possible…
During this year I’ve helped 12 dogs to find their “forever home” (that’s what people engaged in fostering dogs call the permanent homes/owners). Now I’m back in Sweden, I am happy to follow their development through social media. I love to see them grow and be with the lovely people who adopt them.
I got involved with supporting the work of Rescue City New York, through my social media accounts. I would post pictures and videos of all my foster dogs, and my clients thought it was a great! I even got to take the dogs with me to modelling sets, for example Macy’s… I actually started to think that some clients only booked me so they could meet all my puppies haha!
I think my proudest moment is that I had the opportunity to help as many dogs in New York as I did. In return, they helped me to become a better and more empathetic person. All the dogs I had were truly amazing. Every last one of them had their own big personality, and it was an amazing, rewarding experience to help them. One of my best stories is that some of my foster dogs were part of the Neiman Marcus campaign.
I got contacted by the casting director for Neiman Marcus through Instagram saying they wanted to have my foster puppies on set for a shoot. At first I thought that they wanted me in the campaign… but in the end they just wanted my puppies!
We had a great time on set and everyone in the team was so lovely and accommodating. We got our own studio so that the puppies could run free yet also have their privacy to relax. All the models were great with the puppies and I’m really grateful to Neiman Marcus for creating a marketing campaign and producing a “behind the scenes” video with information on how other people can foster puppies from Rescue City the same way I did.
I never saw the work I was doing as charity. I believe it was a duty, and that if I could help, I should. I believe we all need to assess what we can do for others, and provide that help. I really loved helping the dogs and have so much fun doing it, so I think that it gave me as much as it gave them.
My initial dream was that I could get more people involved in the movement. I now have friends who have adopted dogs and provided forever homes for them, alongside friends who have been fostering. I believe that dogs truly are man’s best friend and we should treat them as such, so I’m very happy about my contribution, and the contribution of my friends.
The difficult part was when the puppies started teething. This meant they would bite me in the middle of the night! Frequently, they would bite my ears or toes with their needle sharp little teeth which meant a rude awakening for me and my ex-girlfriend, and not much sleep during these periods.
Most of the dogs were afraid of me upon arrival, and since you never know what they have been going through, I always needed to be mindful to keep a low profile before they realized I was a good guy. When they understood I was reliable, they wanted to keep close to me and started to open up. The change I saw in them from the day of arrival to when they realized they could trust me was equally astonishing each time.
I’ve now moved back to Sweden and I’m going to start fostering here as well. Is not as much of a widespread problem here as it is in the States, but a lot of dogs from local cities need help, and I’m looking forward to start fostering here now I’m back home and able to get more people involved.
Alexander is represented by MP Management Stockholm. View his profile here: https://www.mpmanagement.com/stockholm/model/alexander-johansson
Originally from a small town in Broras, Sweden, Alexander has been modelling for 10 years since being scouted in Gothenburg, and starting his modelling career walking for Gucci at Milan fashion week. Amongst many big jobs, one of his career highlights was his first campaign for Calvin Klein.
If he wasn’t a model, Alexander would like to work in fashion design. As a tailor by trade, his passion is suiting, hailing from an old Swedish family tailoring company spanning 200+ years.
An avid traveller, Alexander’s hobbies include discovering new places around the world, spending time amongst good company with friends and family, plus trying to something good for the world.
Merry Christmas from Alexander! x
Alex will be spending his holiday with family and closest friends in his hometown of Boras, Sweden.
In terms of new year’s resolutions, it’s not something he usually does – but his focus for 2019 is to start fostering dogs again ASAP!
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