Animal print and real fur have always been utilised in fashion designs for decades. It’s something we have seen continually each season, from luxury designers to high - street brands. However, we have now reached a point in fashion where wearing real fur is no longer acceptable.
Recently, the luxury fashion house Prada, announced its partnership with the Fur Free Alliance, saying that it will no longer be using real fur, starting from their SS20 collection. We have also seen the rise of faux fur from the London based brand Shrimps, who creates luxury faux fur and strongly advocates for cruelty free fashion.
"We see trends go in and out of fashion constantly, but animal print arguably has never gone out of fashion."
Although positive changes have been adopted from leading fashion brands not using real fur in their designs, the question I often ask myself, is why can’t we stop buying animal print, even if faux? For me the answer is now simple, animal print is a timeless, staple piece in one’s wardrobe. We see trends go in and out of fashion constantly, but animal print arguably has never gone out of fashion. The love of animal print even dates back to the era of Hollywood glamour, where we have stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor wearing animal print. We’ve seen the Parisian chic icon Bridgette Bardot rocking leopard print on her clothes as well as British influencer/ designer Alexa Chung who is known for leopard print coats to be one of her staple looks. Animal print on clothes has been something our mothers, fathers, grand parents have been wearing for longer than we have and is something that will not be escaping our eyes anytime soon. And you’d be surprised the number of people who have a piece of animal print in their wardrobe.
"Faux fur can nowadays looks extremely real which can result in people being misled when seeing someone wear a faux fur animal print."
I have become aware of the criticism that Vegans, Vegetarians and Cruelty Free activists receive for wearing a print that impersonates real animal skin, even though it is faux… Many people cannot understand how those who advocate vegetarianism/ veganism and promote animal rights, would wear a jacket that resembles a leopard for instance? There’s a part of me that can see where this criticism stems from. Faux fur can nowadays looks extremely real which can result in people being misled when seeing someone wear a faux fur animal print. However, we buy other prints because we love the design of the piece of clothing so why not faux animal print?
To put it bluntly, if one loves animal print, I say wear it! What is much more important is to think ethically about anything you wear. The implications that fast fashion has on sustainability is becoming increasingly more relevant. It’s important to realise that wearing animal print is not a way of promoting animal cruelty but a choice as long as it is faux and from a sustainable source it’s OK.