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Animal Print Swimwear Trend: A History

animal print bikinis

Untamed: A History of Animal Print Swimwear Trend

From the demure spots of early bathing beauties to the neon tiger stripes of the '80s, animal prints have prowled a long and fascinating path through swimwear history. A symbol of boldness, glamour, and a touch of the untamed, these prints speak of changing social attitudes as much as shifting trends.

The Early Stirrings

The 1920s saw a rise in women's leisure time, and with it, a daring new bathing costume. While modesty was still paramount, hints of animal print began to appear, a whisper of the exotic that would later roar. Think discreet leopard spots adorning a wool one-piece. It was a hint of rebellion tucked into the seams. Hollywood embraced the trend in the 30s and 40s, as films filled with jungle adventures brought visions of the untamed into popular culture.

The Bikini Unleashes the Beast

The arrival of the bikini in the 1950s was a sartorial revolution, and animal prints found their perfect canvas. Suddenly, there was more skin to showcase, more space for boldness. Pin-up icons like Bettie Page embraced the sultry power of leopard, transforming the print from playful to undeniably alluring. The animal within was unleashed, reflecting a new wave of female confidence.

The Golden Age and Beyond

The 1970s brought disco balls, Studio 54, and a sense of unabashed glamour, fueling a golden age for animal print. Designers draped models in silken leopard print caftans by the poolside, infusing the once-daring motif with high-fashion status. The 1980s saw the trend explode, with neon zebras and oversized tiger stripes embodying the era's maximalist attitude. Animal print had moved from rebellion to riotous fun.

Enduring Allure

The 90s saw a revival of classic cuts, with Fran Drescher's leopard-loving Fran Fine in "The Nanny" making the print a pop-culture staple. By the 2000s, animal print was both timeless and trendy. Bikini, tankini, one-piece – the spots and stripes adorned them all, proving that the appeal was as enduring as the prints themselves.

The Modern Era

Today, animal print is an enduring classic, a touch of fierceness we can all embrace. While leopard remains the reigning queen, designers continue to play with zebra, snakeskin, and even more abstract interpretations of animal markings. We see them in sustainable fabrics, in sophisticated cuts, a testament to the versatility of the trend. This season has seen brands like Always Sunshine Somewhere continue to push those boundaries with stunning abstract takes on classic animal prints.

Always Sunshine Somewhere: Where Art Meets Wild

Their three newest additions showcase the brand's commitment to artistic swimwear that's as sustainable as it is striking:

  • Action Animal Print Bikini UK: Described as a fusion of action painting and animal print inspiration, this vibrant orange, yellow, blue, and black bikini is bound to make a splash. Its artistic design hints at the ever-evolving potential of the animal print trend.

Animal print bikini 2024

  • Animal Print Blue Bikini UK: This striking animal print bikini showcases a bold and vibrant mix of blue, black, and pink. A perfect example of how the classic trend can be refreshed and revitalised for the contemporary woman.

blue animal print bikini uk

  • Abstract Leopard Print Bikini: If a classic leopard feels a little too expected, this abstract take from Always Sunshine Somewhere is the ideal choice. Crafted with sustainability in mind, it's further proof that ethical fashion and bold prints go hand-in-hand.

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Animal print swimwear reflects our ever-changing relationship with boldness, femininity, and the thrill of standing out. From the beach to the street, they allow us to channel a touch of the wild, a reminder that style can have a little bite.


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