The year of the tiger: fashion houses are inspired by it

Several organizations and brands are announcing tiger-themed collections this year to coincide with the Chinese zodiac cycle.

At a time when there is much talk about tiger conservation, the call for the protection and understanding of the iconic species reaches its zenith this year. According to the Chinese zodiac cycle, 2022 is the year of the tiger, which has led several organizations and brands to announce tiger-themed collections in several ways.

Some fashion houses have already launched their tiger-inspired collections, such as the striped bags of Stella McCartney, the animal patterns of coats and skirts of Burberry, the tiger graphics in the dresses of the French fashion house Kenzo, etc. Dolce & Gabbana offers animal prints in bright and wild colors on tiger brocade tops, shirts, pants and skirts.

Prada launched tiger-themed accessories, tote bags, phone straps and keychains. The Italian luxury fashion house has also raised awareness of the plight of tigers who are more at risk of extinction. The campaign features actor and singer Li Yifeng and actress Chun Xia.

Meanwhile, Salvatore Ferragamo invited Beijing-based artists Sun Yuan and Peng Yu to create a striking Ferragamo Studio bag inspired by traditional Chinese paintings, in addition to handbags, boots and sneakers. Inspired by traditional Chinese paintings, the print depicts the tiger which symbolizes passion, auspiciousness and security in Chinese culture. The tiger plays with other wild creatures, a crane, an eagle, a deer and a monkey in the classical Chinese garden covered in rocks, plants and flowers, presenting a vibrant scene of revival.

Aligned with the theme of the year, the tiger, the central symbol of Japanese fashion brand Onitsuka Tiger and an expression of the recurring theme of animal power, is clearly visible in its contemporary collection which combines fashion and sport, and heritage and innovation. Onitsuka Tiger, under the artistic direction of Andrea Pompilio, presented its Spring-Summer 2022 collection in Milan with a short film titled Milan-Tokyo, directed by HidetoHotta. A selection of complementary and versatile items with animal and geometric prints, as well as horizontal lines, are part of her beachwear. The shoe has two new sneaker styles with a printed sole and a shoe upper that depicts a characteristic feline coat.

In India, Sula Vineyards has introduced a range of wildlife wines called Kadu. In 2019, Sula Vineyards collaborated with the Sanctuary Nature Foundation to empower and support conservationists across India. The brand’s heritage has supported tiger conservation in Karnataka. “It is imperative that companies become aware of their responsibility towards the environment. As Indian wine pioneers, we want to contribute to the great work being done to protect tigers, in the way we know best: creating fine wines. Kadu is a tribute to our love for wildlife conservation,” says Rajeev Samant, CEO of Sula Vineyards.

Beyond businesses and fashion houses, tigers were ready for a treat at Singapore’s Mandai Night Safari as they recently craved coin-shaped chunks of meat as part of New Year’s themed treats lunar. The act particularly encouraged their hunting abilities. Meanwhile, colorful tiger sculptures, installed by local artists in collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), will adorn the streets of Singapore until March this year, in a bid to raise awareness for the conservation of the tiger.

However, luxury fashion house Gucci has come under fire for inviting real-life tigers to an afternoon tea with models for its latest ad campaign. The brand stepped back from supporting an animal welfare charity when it launched the Gucci Tiger collection to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Tiger. The advertising campaign shows tigers lying on carpets and perched on pianos. On Instagram, the fashion house said the American Humane Society was “monitoring the set for animals and verifying that no animals were harmed.”

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