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Animal prints are the newest trend in men's fashion

A Campus in Style

By Jamil Larkins
On December 8, 2011

Being open to change is always a good trait to have, especially in the fashion world. I'm a firm believer that developing your own personal styles comes from being open-minded and gathering inspiration from the environment around you. And then Lil' Wayne wore leopard leggings on national television.

It was like the shot heard ‘round the world. Everyone was openly slandering his pants, especially once the word came out that they indeed were from a women's retailer. Animal prints have somehow crawled their way into men's fashion and are seemingly here to stay. When not worn on leggings, animal prints can actually become a good look in men's fashion. If done tastefully, prints can become a standout addition to any wardrobe. As with many trends, rappers are the faces of the newest wave of streetwear and higher fashion animal print designs.

Lil' Wayne's leopard leggings are not the only animal based fashion co-signs he's had. Jeremy Scott, famed celebrity fashion designer, has often collaborated with Adidas for some over the top pieces. Amongst these include sneakers infused with stuffed teddy bears, gorillas, and pandas. Not surprisingly, Wayne was also spotted wearing these earlier in the year.

Other Jeremy Scott and Adidas designs have included hoodies and jackets equipped with ears on the hood corresponding to the specific animal design. One standout design is the tiger-striped tuxedo jacket that rapper Danny Brown has been spotted on tour and in videos with. Could the average person casually wear an orange hooded tuxedo jacket? Absolutely not. But with Brown's "unique" style somehow it fits.

Streetwear staple brand Supreme has also recently jumped into the animal print trend for this winter season. Teaming up with The North Face, Supreme has released winter down coats featuring leopard prints in three different colors. As with most releases from Supreme, these coats quickly sold out after they were released on Black Friday. Surely adding to the demand for these jackets, rapper Drake was seen in pictures from a recent video shoot sporting the grey and black colorway.

As previously stated, animal prints have also found success in high fashion. Christian Louboutin, most known for his designs and pieces featuring the famous "red bottoms", has also implemented a leopard design for men's shoes. Coming in both a loafer and sneaker, these pricey designs are definitely not for the average shopper. Riccardo Tisci, with the endorsement of Jay-Z and Kanye West, vastly expanded his Givenchy brand this year. Though not exactly an animal print, Givenchy tees featuring images of rottweilers were a hot item this year.

Though not an element of my personal style, these various examples of animal prints are definitely becoming more prevalent in men's fashion. Will you catch me rocking a leopard coat? Nope. Tiger jacket? Never. But when these pieces are released by brands with cult followings (Supreme, Adidas, etc.) they sell out fast and new trends get born.  

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