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Trend: Wild for Leopard Print

The fashion world is wild for leopard print, with the classic pattern back in full, fierce force this fall. Though at times, leopard print has veered into parody (think the fashion fiascoes of the cast of MTV’s Jersey Shore, circa 2009), done well, the look can be a sophisticated display of power. It sends the message that “I will be seen, and I am not prey,” author Jo Weldon told the New York Times recently.

Spring Mountain Apparel works with many U.S. zoos where fleeces like this one (F48A) have been big sellers, according to executive manager Sunny Le.

Leopard print is considered a symbol of strength by many. The pattern itself is likely the reason for this perception, says Ashley Nielsen, marketing manager for S&S Activewear (asi/84358). “I would consider it a power print due to its bold colors and attention-getting detail,” she says. Leopards are known for their stealth and fierceness, so wearing this predator’s spots reminds people of those qualities, says Sunny Le, executive manager at Spring Mountain Apparel (asi/88892).

Because the print is so strong, it tends to capture people’s attention, so it’s a great option for promotional apparel, especially now that it’s trending, Le says. It’s a great accent, rather than a focal point, Nielsen says, adding that she’s seen leopard print deployed effectively on accessories like bags, scarves and towels. “It’s a great way to spice up a promotion with something fun and different, without it being too overpowering,” she says. Leopard print appeals more to women than men, but its popularity stretches across most age groups, Nielsen adds.

“Leopard print is a great way to stand out, while still having the ability to pair with other colors,” Nielsen says. “You should never be afraid to try a print, especially for a promo. It’s a great way to grab people’s attention while still being trendy and functional.”