Like a selfie taken in front of Indochine’s leafy wallpaper or a geotag at the Maidstone country club in East Hampton, the latest subtle status symbol to sweep the Instaverse is, oddly enough for adults, a dignified teddy bear clad in a bellhop getup. His name is Bo. And he sits expectantly on the red-and-white duvet cover of all rooms at New York’s Bowery Hotel where, in recent months, he has been ‘grammed by “It” folk the world over — Poppy Delevingne, Courtney Love, Karen Elson, Amanda Brooks, and their ilk.
Mostly it’s women doing this, effectively alerting various in-the-know friends that they’re in town without being so obvious as, say, photographing the Chrysler Building. And given that Bo’s home is a bed, this inevitably gives off a flirty, coy, “It’s just me and this soft toy here alone in this big downtown hotel room” kind of vibe. “Guess who I’m sleeping with tonight,” Amanda de Cadenet captioned her photo back in April.
Bo first took up residence two years ago. And according to Bowery Hotel proprietor Sean MacPherson, it was seventies designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac’s famous teddy bear coat that inspired him. The name Bo is short for “Bowery,” obviously, and MacPherson says he chose it because “it’s an equal opportunity name; regardless of your sexual orientation, you can feel comfortable sleeping with Bo. As Iman once said, ‘I’m not a man, I’m not a woman, I’m just Iman.’ Bo is Bo.” For those who want to take Bo home with them, there are hermetically sealed “virgin bears” for sale in each room’s minibar. MacPherson says that while Bos don’t get thrown in the washing machine, they are regularly switched out when they’ve gotten a little worse for the wear. But, he adds, “I think it’s fine if Bo’s gotten around a bit.” Click ahead to see the ladies (and a few guys) he’s been with recently.