Trend Alert – Animal Prints?! What Are Designers Doing to Save the Tigers?

I was browsing the October 2010 issue of Elle Decor this evening, when I came across the “Trend Alert: Animal Prints” on page 124, and I was quite surprised!
This lovely piece was produced by Parker Bowie, but I felt as though the declaration that animal prints are and will continue to be big was a bit passee, to say the least. Add that to the endless list of articles on how animal prints are hot year after year after year…..Elle Magazine, Fall 2010 Fashion Trend: Animal Prints…and sometimes I feel as though I am in living in the movie Ground Hog Day, reading the same fashion and home decor magazines over and over and over again.  (Do I sound repetitive?)

Sydney Wasserman said on 9/2/2010 on Elle.com that Leopard Prints are a must have for Fall.
Reported in January 2010, Leopard was to be the big trend (original).  Celebrities from Mary-Kate Olsen to Angelina Jolie were seen sporting Leopard prints:
Violet Moon Gaynor posted some “Ladylike Leopard” fierce animal prints to Elle.com in November 2009:
Look at this gorgeous tiger coat at Celine:
Go to Harpersbazaar.com and do a search for “Animal Prints” and see what you come up with.  It is literally page after page of animal prints featured in fashion.  
Designers such as Charles Faudree have used leopard prints in fabric collections:
See the punchy pink tiger print at the Grand Entrance Hall at the Graystone Estate.  Photo by Peter Vitale for Veranda
Designer Markham Roberts creates a cozy nest for a Connecticut family, as shown in the photo above.  The ottoman is upholstered in Tiger Velvet by Brunschwig & Fils.  The room shots that I could put here with examples of designer installations featuring animal prints are endless.  It has almost become so cliche.  What I would really like to know is, how many of the design firms, top interior design personalities, fashion houses and shoe companies know how endangered our dear tigers are?
I have become involved with the Wildlife Conservation Society over the past few years.  I have been completely dumfounded to learn that our beloved wild tigers, might very well be gone forever.
Stopping poaching is the only way to bring back the estimated 3,200 remaining wild tigers from the brink of extinction.  I just received a letter from Joe Walston, Director of the Asia Program for WCS.   WCS has long been at the forefront of the tiger conservation efforts throughout the world and they are at the core of one of the only wild tiger recovery projects to achieve long-term increases in the tiger population.  
My wish is that every designer out there who has been inspired by tigers and other big cats in their design of fabrics, coats, shoes, home furnishings, etc. make a donation to protect the tigers.  I cannot believe that there are less than 3200 tigers left in the world!  If every reader who thumbed across yet another fashion magazine declaring that animal prints are the next big trend would become even slightly interested and donated just $4, I think we would make some progress!  If you love animal prints and are as interested in protecting wildlife as I am, click here and donate $4 or more!
There are fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, according to WWF.  
Great news is that six tiger cubs, including three Amur and three Malayan tigers, have just made their debut at the Bronx Zoo last week.  Out of the 3,500 remaining tigers left in the wild, only 1,000 of those are breeding females, so this news was very exciting for those of us interested in conservation of these beautiful creatures.  Most of the tigers’ host countries are poor and conservation is not the top priority, so those of us who are privileged enough to purchase decorative accessories and fashions that are modeled after tiger skins might want to consider furthering the conservation efforts.
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About the author

Melissa is the owner and founder of The Well Appointed House, a company that sells luxuries for the home, furniture, gifts, decorative accessories and is based in Greenwich, CT

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2 comments

  1. La Petite Gallery

    My Daughter gave me Leopard hat and gloves last year. I bought a leopard long silk scarf on
    a cruise. Looks like I am set for this winter. Need a new coat Maybe. Fabulous post, I am glad they are saving those beautiful animals.

    yvonne

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