Ivy Love Getty is a most unusual multi-hyphenate: model, fashion collector, philanthropist and dog whisperer.
Those last two roles are perhaps closest to her heart. As the great-granddaughter of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty and an heir to his vast fortune, she’s in a position to support an array of causes, from animal welfare organizations to HIV/AIDS nonprofits.
And thanks to her family’s history of adopting rescue pets, the 28-year-old advocate connects with pups on an intuitive level.
“The companionship is so sweet,” says Getty, who brings her two Chihuahua-mix rescues everywhere. “The bond between a dog and a human can be so strong. It’s just an emotional attachment where I feel like we love each other.”
During our shoot, Getty’s two tail-waggers — Blue Naomi and Martini (on her lap below, from left) — looked positively fetching.
Switching up her poses, Blue peeked winsomely out of a skirt pocket, flaunted a knit strawberry hat and kissed her “mommy” on command. She even smized for the camera. Martini, her impish younger brother, managed to outshine a pack of Judith Leiber crystal pooch purses.
Of course, the little darlings are accustomed to fabulous dog togs. When Getty married photographer
Tobias Engel in November 2021 — the star-studded nuptials in San Francisco were officiated by then-Speaker-of-the-House Nancy Pelosi and attended by California Governor Gavin Newsom — Blue’s wedding wardrobe was the height of canine chic.
The tiny diva rocked a ’60s-style belted yellow knit dress for the mod-themed welcome party at The Palace of Fine Arts and a picnic lunch the following afternoon, then paraded a playful pink tutu for the rehearsal in City Hall.
On the big day, the ethereal bride floated down the aisle wearing a spellbinding John Galliano for Maison Margiela Haute Couture gown adorned with broken mirror fragments.
The avant-garde designer also dressed her bridal party, including maid-of-honor Anya Taylor-Joy, in bias-cut gray slithers. Blue, meanwhile, fulfilled her solemn duties as ring bearer in a ruffled slate sheath with beaded embellishments.
“People thought that John made it, but I got it on PoshPuppyBoutique.com for like $150,” says Getty, who’s as down-to-earth as she is glamorous. “It fit her like a glove and just happened to match the bridesmaids’ dresses perfectly.”
The jade-eyed beauty is the daughter of the late John Gilbert Getty, a musician, and Alyssa Boothby, a former jewelry designer.
She grew up in San Francisco with a veritable menagerie of pets. Her first dog was Buddha, an English mastiff so huge she could ride him like a horse. “In 2005, he was in National Geographic for being officially the biggest dog in San Francisco,” she recalls. There were three pit bulls, a parrot, hamsters, hermit crabs, as well as a rescue cat and her litter of kittens.
Getty was raised by her grandparents — Gordon, a businessman and classical music composer, and Ann, an interior designer and philanthropist who died in 2020 — alongside a pair of fluffy white goldendoodles, Yankee and Dandee. A rescue mix named Perpetua soon joined them.
The family lived in the Getty mansion, the celebrated five-story hilltop residence overlooking the San Francisco Bay, where Getty held her glittering wedding reception.
The contents of the estate went under the hammer last fall in a series of landmark Christie’s auctions.
The sale of Old Master paintings, European and Asian antiques, textiles and jewelry has so far raised more than $150 million, the proceeds of which will benefit the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation for the Arts, dedicated to supporting arts and science organizations.
Getty inherited much of her grandmother’s exquisite wardrobe of rare couture and designer ready-to-wear, along with her father’s collection of vintage men’s and women’s clothing. “He appreciated and loved fashion,” she recalls. “I have a warehouse filled with his insane Paco Rabanne from-the-’60s originals, and amazing Tom-Ford-for-Gucci-era snakeskin pants for men. One day I want to do an exhibition.”
She wears the same size as her grandmother, and shares her dramatic flair, donning showstopping gowns at galas and benefits around the world. “A big treasure of mine is my grandmother’s vintage Yves Saint Laurent coat that she wore for a shoot in Town & Country. It’s red and black and has gold embroidery, and it’s stunning. I wore it in my engagement shoot with my husband.”
Getty is an avid fashion collector, scouring websites and stores for exceptional finds. A prized score is a spring 2002 Blumarine dress adorned with colorful fans and floral motifs, the sparkly number that the late actress Brittany Murphy sported in 2003’s “Uptown Girls.”
After searching for years, Getty was alerted that one of the movie’s backup costumes was available online, and she immediately bought it.
“I’ve always been into fashion and a lot of statement pieces. I was a huge theater kid, and I loved the process of getting into costume, and I also did ballet,” says Getty, who modeled in a babyGap ad when she was a toddler and has since been a cover girl for Town & Country (39 years after her grandmother), L’Officiel and Von, photographer Ellen von Unwerth’s magazine. “My mom would make all my [dance] costumes for me, and my grandmother loved making my custom Halloween costumes. I think over time I’ve just understood the art behind it.”
“I was somebody who went through a lot of phases,” continues Getty with a smile. “If you look at my prom dresses, it is almost illegal how hideous my outfits were for all four years.”
Around the same time that she was experimenting with questionable styles, Getty rolled up her sleeves and started volunteering with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and at local rescue shelters. She then adopted Blue from Best Friends Animal Society while studying at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where she earned a fine arts degree.
She named her sweetie after Blue Ivy Carter (Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s daughter) and Naomi Campbell, and brought her to class. “The professors weren’t really OK with it, but she had broken her arm falling off a chair and was in a cast. She’s really easy and didn’t make a single noise.”
Getty, who now lives in New York with her husband and their fur babies (and occasionally officiates friends’ weddings), found Martini on Adopt-A-Dog.org and brought him home in November. “He was the only survivor of five, and he was rescued from a hoarder’s home in Texas that was mistreating dogs,” she says. “We got along immediately. A puppy tends to forget bad experiences and most issues can be solved with the right love and care.”
“Knowing that they’re rescue is really important to me because after being so involved with different shelters and understanding the process, I think a lot of people don’t realize how many dogs need a home,” she adds.
Getty recently did Embark dog DNA testing and found Blue’s half-brother in Colorado and Martini’s dad in New Jersey.
She and her husband contacted the Garden State owners — “they were very excited as well” — and intend to drive down and meet the four-legged father and his human parents some day.
When she’s in New York, Getty frequently helps out at Muddy Paws Rescue events when new animals are bused in from out of town. “I’ll clean their cages, prepare them to take a walk and meet possible owners.” She also works with Best Friends Animal Society. “We’re talking about how we can help gather a larger audience of younger people to adopt. We are coming up with different ways to solve that issue, and I think being a younger voice for them helps.”
Creative by nature, Getty also wants to get back into acting and has an idea for a coffee table book. She’s also trying her hand at gardening.
Recently, she planted seeds for herbs and varieties of flowers that attract butterflies in her backyard. Under her expert care — and the careful supervision of Blue and Martini — sunflowers are already reaching for the sky.
Editor: Serena French; Stylist: Anahita Moussavian; Photo Editor: Jessica Hober; Fashion Assistants: Madeleine Shepherd, Alycen Humphrey-Case; Hair: Yukiko Tajima at See Management using Amika; Makeup: Ayami Nishimura at Forward Artists using Lancôme; Manicure: Mo Qin at The Wall Group using Aprés Nail Official; Prop Stylist: Gregory Andrew Powell; Dog Art Graphic Design: Dylan Eastman