The animal print trend began in the late 1960s, but centuries before that, real animal skin (and fur) had already been a mainstay amongst the wealthiest.
The association of animal skin and fur with the good life continues and carries over into the modern world, which explains its endurance.
When Jackie Kennedy was photographed wearing a leopard fur coat by Oleg Cassini, the demand for fur coats skyrocketed and 250,000 leopards were slaughtered in the name of fashion. (To his credit, Cassini then stopped using real furs and only used faux furs in his creations. He even developed Evolutionary Fur, a durable and low-maintenance synthetic fur fabric).
As the world becomes more and more progressive and more fashion houses have pledged to go fur-free (starting with the revolutionary Stella McCartney), animal patterns from real fur and skin have been hand painted or digitally printed onto fabrics.
This opened new doors to creativity in the world of fashion. We see animal prints from coats to ties to phone cases to, of course, activewear.
Each animal print allows the wearer to channel their characteristic. Fast and active? Wear the cheetah. Sleek and dangerous? Go with leopard. Slinky and smooth? Get the serpentine. Unique and graceful? Choose zebra.
The digital age (and creativity) has also made it possible to mix and match the colors, and now you can wear dark brown and navy leopard print or blue snake print to your next outing.
One thing for sure, no actual animals were harmed in making these prints, meaning you can show your adoration for these animals without guilt.