THE TREND: Spotted animal prints, particularly of the leopard variety. Produced in both real and faux versions on mostly coats, pillbox hats and dresses.
ITS INVENTION: The trend was born in the wardrobe of fashion icon and the most famous first lady of the 1960s: Jacklyn Onassis Kennedy.
For her tenure as leading lady of the White House and Queen of American fashion, Jackie hired designer Oleg Cassini as her courtier. His responsibilities were to suggest and design the pieces that would please both Jackie’s tastes and (whether intentional or not) set the trends for the American public. From the moment she stepped in the White House in 1961, the “Jackie Look” became the trend du jour for every American woman of the day.
According to Greathistory.com , Cassini is quoted as saying, ”Many years ago, I did a fur coat for Jackie Kennedy. I suggested leopard to her. She loved the idea because those kinds of looks had not been seen for a long time.”
And so the leopard coat trend was born, and by the years of 1970s fashion leopards had become endangered species and the market had moved onto faux productions of the print instead.
ITS INFLUENCE: Wearing various types of animal fur for warmth and style was not a new idea in the ’60s. It was wearing specially patterned fur a la the spotted animal print that Jackie O introduced into the style consciousness of America.
Today you don’t only find leopard print on the shelves, but cheetah, jaguar, tiger, zebra, giraffe, cow and more. Not only does animal print rule supreme in variety, but on genres of fashion, too. It’s on wardrobe staples, accessories, shoes and lingerie.
Modern day fashion celebrities like The Kardashian Sisters have even released their own collection with a heavy emphasis on all-things-leopard for SEARS.
Since Jackie O wore her first leopard coat as designed by Cassini in 1961, wearing animal print is one of the most classic “default” fashion moves for a lady of any style personality. When in doubt, a girl can wear red. When feeling sophisticated, a girl can wear black.
But when wanting to feel fierce and fabulous? You bet a lady’s gonna wear leopard print!