Calling All Maximalists—This Major Fall Print Trend Is All You


(Image credit: Courtesy Dries Van Noten; Imaxtree/ Ganni; Imaxtree/ Jil Sander)

We're still in the thick of summer, but that hasn't stopped me from thinking about fall fashion. Maybe it's because I'm generally over the heat or because I've already grown weary of summer trends. But before you write me off, hear me out: There are so many good trends bubbling up for the season, from grunge to ultra-feminine aesthetics, it's hard not to give in to the excitement. The one that's been on my mind as of late, though, is animal print.

Of course, anything animal-inspired manages to rotate in and out of fashion every few seasons, but after scrolling through countless runway shows and the options on Shopbop, Mango, and Net-a-Porter, it became clear that we're about to have a very wild fall. If fashion is a kingdom, animal prints were at the top of the chain across F/W 22 collections. But it wasn't just one specific animal print that dominated the runways—we saw leopard, zebra, and snakeskin prints reworked in fresh ways. Anyone who thought animal prints were extinct should be prepared to be proven wrong.

Ahead, I've done some hunting (figuratively, of course) to show you why these three animal-print trends will be prominent in fall. Plus, I've shopped out some of the best leopard, zebra, and snakeskin pieces you can buy right now so you can join in on the fun. 


(Image credit: Imaxtree/ Et Ochs; Courtesy Dries Van Noten; Imaxtree/ Givenchy; Courtesy Dries Van Noten; Imaxtree/ Et Ochs; Imaxtree/ Az Factory)

While S/S 22 collections may have drawn inspiration from the late '90s and early aughts, it seems this fall, designers have begun to dig back further into the history books to pull inspiration from the late '70s and '80s. You can see that inspiration most visibly from the return of animal prints, including zebra. While cheetah and leopard were popularized long before zebra got its footing, this print was prominent in the early grunge and rock movements. It's fitting, then, that zebra print is back in the mix considering the cultural movement to embrace our villain era and grunge aesthetics bubbling back up on the runway. 

But unlike the formal iterations of this print, recent collections gave it a more polished update by focusing on tailoring and trendier silhouettes—for example, Dries Van Noten's impeccably tailored full-length coat or Et Ochs cutout button-down. The result is a zebra print that's both zany and meant for everyday wear. 

Shop zebra-print pieces:


(Image credit: Courtesy of St John; Courtesy of Ami; Courtesy of Michael Kors; Courtesy of Etro; Imaxtree/ Jil Sander; Courtesy of Roberto Cavalli)

Leopard print has a lengthy chapter in fashion's history book. While we can trace its prominence back centuries, it didn't gain popularity until Christian Dior championed the print in the '50s. Since then, this animal print has been a part of the zeitgeist and spotted on everyone from Lil' Kim to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Despite its prominence, it's been a constant source of controversy, as it's transformed from classy to gaudy and back again for years. However you feel about this print, its impact is undeniable both in the past and present. 

F/W 22 collections clarified that leopard print can (and should) still be a part of the conversation. Unlike the iterations of the past that made the print either overly polished or overly risqué, you saw designers balance out the ecosystem by pairing the print with traditional silhouettes to give them a luxe feel. Full-length coats and blazers were given a wild twist at Roberto Cavalli, St. John, and Jil Sander. while the popular cutout maxi dress silhouette was spiced up at Etro with a pop of leopard—proving once again that this print always manages to claw its way back into our wardrobes. If that makes us prey, so be it.

Shop leopard-print pieces:


(Image credit: Imaxtree/ Roberto Cavalli; Courtesy Piferi x Ludovic de Saint Sernin; Imaxtree/ Bottega Veneta; Imaxtree/ Ganni; Imaxtree/ Nanushka)

Last but not least, the animal-print trend that managed to make a not-so-subtle comeback is snakeskin. Of course, it should be noted that, like leopard, this animal print has been a continual part of fashion’s trend cycles and history. Cowboys and farmers often used snakeskin to create boots and apparel. It wasn’t introduced into the luxury space until Louis Vuitton released its first snakeskin bag in the late 19th century. And it wasn’t until the ’70s that we began to see this print gain popularity and brands creating vegan iterations for ready-to-wear collections. 


That long history of innovation has been further pushed through fall/winter 2022 collections championing of snakeskin prints. The print got a modern take through various fashion houses— Nanushka made a modern moto jacket with vegan snakeskin, and Piferi x Ludovic de Saint Sernin took the popular corset top and put it in sumptuous teal snakeskin. And Bottega Veneta showed a button-down snakeskin top with matching relaxed trousers. Proving once again that animal prints are at the top of the fashion chain, and their continuous evolution at the hands of designers makes investing in them all the more worthwhile.

Shop snakeskin-print pieces:

Next: 8 Micro-Trends That Seem Random Now But Will Be Everywhere Soon

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman is a fashion editor living in New York City. What began as a hobby (blogging on Tumblr) transformed into a career dedicated to storytelling through various forms of digital media. She started her career at the print publication 303 Magazine, where she wrote stories, helped produce photo shoots, and planned Denver Fashion Week. After moving to Los Angeles, she worked as MyDomaine's social media editor until she was promoted to work across all of Clique's publications (MyDomaine, Byrdie, and Who What Wear) as the community manager. Over the past few years, Jasmine has worked on Who What Wear's editorial team, using her extensive background to champion rising BIPOC designers, weigh in on viral trends, and profile stars such as Janet Mock and Victoria Monét. She is especially interested in exploring how art, fashion, and pop culture intersect online and IRL.