Animal print has always been a constant element within many realms of the fashion world. It often transcends subcultural movements, with different brands and groups of people referencing it in different ways. Millions of years ago (yes, millions) animal fur was used by man purely for warmth and protection, but as the human race evolved it became something of a status symbol, a trophy for the rich and wealthy. Within the fashion realm, it was the 1940s where animal print really began to infiltrate women's fashion due to the women's movement. Into the 50s and Christian Dior became fascinated with the idea of leopard print, and began infusing his collections with animal print accents. This was the first time that the higher end of the fashion spectrum had embraced animal print to such an extent, and it gave it a level of sophistication and elegance not seen before.
The 60s and 70s flipped that idea on its head, with the hippie movement of the 60s adding new elements of colour and the punk movement of the 70s adding a further dose of youthful rebelliousness. For musicians including the Sex Pistols and Debbie Harry along with shops such as Malcolm McLaren & Vivienne Westwood's SEX and Acme Attractions, fronted by Don Letts; animal print was an integral part of the cultural wardrobe. Not only because of its subtle loudness and in your face attitude, but because it slightly blurred the gender roles. Kurt Cobain's faux fur leopard coat is further testament to this idea. Today, animal print is often utilised by Japanese street brands including Neighborhood and Unrivaled who reference the punk elements and higher, women's brands such as DKNY and Ganni channeling elements of 40s and 50s glamour. Shop men's and women's 'our thing' below.