Animal print: from the caves to our closets
Although sometimes regrettable, animal skins and clothing have always been linked.
Our cave-dwelling ancestors already used this type of fur to protect themselves from the cold during the last ice age, when it was really cold and there were no junk clothing factories in Southeast Asia.
In much more recent times, fortunately, animal furs have been largely replaced by animal print, the print that imitates them and avoids mistreating an innocent animal just because its fur is cool.
For this reason, and since the animal print has become such a popular pattern, at Sliwils we want to talk a little about the history of this design and, incidentally, do our bit against animals that use the skins of others to dress themselves.
When animal skins were not fashionable
They say that history cannot be judged with the eyes of the present, and it is true: we cannot blame some historical peoples for wearing animal skins to protect themselves from the cold or, simply, because they did not have other fabrics to make clothes: cotton, linen, silk...
That does not mean that in history there have been emperors, kings and other megalomaniacs who wore animal skins as a symbol of power (men, they are all the same...), especially leopard, tiger and lion skins.
But who knows how many of these macho men finished off the big cat in question with their own hands, as Heracles (Hercules, for the Romans) did with the lion of Nemea?
The happy 20's
The 1920s were years of economic splendor in several Western cities far from Europe, which had been devastated after the First World War.
In those years of madness, consumerism and credit crunch, women began to "reclaim" real fur animal print garments as a symbol of elegance, far from the meaning of physical power that had been given in the past by men.
The leather par excellence was still the leopard skin, used mainly for coats, dresses and skirts (few women wore pants in those days).
With the advent of the first great crisis of capitalism, in 1929, and the outbreak of World War II, fashion took a back seat: these were years of belt-tightening and "war efforts".
After World War II
With Europe once again transformed into a wasteland and the United States once again intact, the war gave way again to much happier years, years in which Hollywood's female celebrities took up leopard garments to convey sensuality and glamour.
It was the first lady Jackie Kennedy who "normalized" the use of animal print, lowering the fever that existed for this print, which, however, continued to be used with the same meaning.
Rockers and punks arrived
After the decades in which animal print was associated with high society, rockers and especially punks appropriated it to convey just the opposite: the high dirt, the anti-power, the alternative, the "f*** the police".
In fact, I'm sure we all have in mind some rockers who wore pants or vests with leopard animal print, back in the 70s-80s.
The animal movements of the 1990s
Until now, most of the animal print garments were made of real animal skins, and for some years now, some of the big couturiers have been including them in their collections.
However, in the 1990s, with animalistic movements increasingly on the rise, brands began to stop using real fur and replaced it with printed animal print garments.
Animal print today
Today, some companies refuse to give up real fur. For example, the late Karl Lagerfeld famously stated that giving up animal fur would mean job losses. The same overwhelming logic that bulls would become extinct if they were not fought.
Fortunately, moving away from animal fur to animal print is something that will fall under its own weight, as users are increasingly aware of the impact that our consumption habits have on the environment.
Therefore, alternatives such as animal print or even faux fur are good options to continue to show off the beauty of an animal skin without the associated negative consequences, such as having to decimate its population.
Gone, too, are the times when this type of prints were used only for coats, dresses, skirts or punk pants. In fact, it has made the leap from mere clothing to other kinds of accessories, such as sneakers, computer cases or cell phone cases.
And even animal print shoelaces
We, at Sliwils, aim higher, or lower depending on how you look at it, with the Savage, our collection of animal print shoelaces.
Use them as a symbol of power, elegance, sensuality, alternative or whatever you want to express, the important thing is that no animal has suffered to create them.
And remember: only cavemen and cavewomen have real fur in their closet.