We’re WILD About These Animal Print Trends of 2021

vaneli zeno in leopard print

Just a few years ago, animal prints were all the rage. As with all trends, they eventually fell out of fashion and it seemed that they might not make a comeback. 

Then COVID-19 happened. We were all stuck at home for the better part of 2020, longing for the days when we could safely experience the joys of traveling the world (or at least travel beyond our own four walls). 

Now, the pandemic is drawing to an end and people are traveling once again. According to stylist Mickey Freeman, “In my opinion, animal prints are synonymous with the desire to abscond and experience the energy of exotic lands and their climates.”

This prediction means that as people’s desire to travel gains momentum, animal prints are going to make a comeback.

In fact, it looks like they already have. Both fashion month street style and Instagram clearly show that the animal print trend in 2021 is real.

According to Freeman, animal print is coming back in full force. “I’ve been seeing a lot of head-to-toe looks in leopard, ocelot, and cheetah prints that are comprised of sumptuous-looking silks and synthetic fabrics that flow across the body creating a relaxed silhouette.” 

This sentiment was echoed by Tom Ford, who recently told Vogue that, “the last thing I want to see are serious clothes.” After a year of sweatpants and T-shirts, it’s time for an explosion of fashion maximalism.



vaneli albion in cowhide print


A number of fashion labels have also begun championing animal print this year: 

  • LA-based concept store Lisa Says Gah, which released a collection of cow print pieces
  • Stine Goya, who’s made zebra prints a staple of their Spring/Summer 2021 collection

Additionally, leopard print was spotted in the Autumn/Winter collections of Celine, Christian Dior, Marine Serre, Lanvin, Max Mara, Michael Kors Collection, Molly Goddard, Rokh and No.21.

Animal print boots have always been a fashion staple. It allows for a pop of wild design, even if you’re wearing an otherwise minimalist outfit. It’s the perfect way to add your own maximalist expression to whatever you’re wearing. 

One of the great things about animal print is that there’s a whole host of options to choose from. Here are some of the biggest animal print trends in 2021, and tips for incorporating these into your shoe collection. 

Zebra Print

As we mentioned earlier, the Zebra print from Stine Goya shows how popular this style is right now, especially true when it comes to footwear. 

Marc Fisher x Elizabeth Sulcer have also collaborated on a Zebra print boot, with similar designs from The Attico, Isabel Marant, and Khaite.

This Zebra print sandal from VANELi is perfect for your summer attire. The print itself is understated enough that it can fit with any outfit, but it still adds a little wild streak to whatever you’re wearing. 


vaneli albion in leopard print

Leopard Print Shoes

With the right pair of leopard print boots, women (and men) can add an extra pop of wild to their outfit. The print looks great on shoe types of every kind, and is an excellent choice this season. 

The best lines of leopard print shoes for women include the following:

In addition to leopard print, cheetah ankle boots are also a big trend this year. Both BC Footwear and Loeffler Randall are sporting provocative and trend-setting designs. 

Each of these is an excellent summer pick, and can pair well with both casual and more dressy attire. 

Crocodile Shoes

The crocodile effect has been a favorite from the runway to the Instagram trend. Crocodile shoes are no exception. 

Crocodile shoes are elevated and elegant, but you don’t need massive dollars to invest in a few key pieces. Mock-croc shoes are a fraction of the real deal, and don’t require any animal harm. 

The VANELi Alanna or Jimmy are great examples of sensible loafers that can pair with a number of different outfits, while still being a fashion-forward addition to your look.

vaneli jimmy shoe in croco print

How to Pair Animal Print Shoes with Clothing

Having a pop of animal print is chic, but wearing animal print shoes with an animal print top and carrying an animal print shirt is just overkill. So follow the one animal rule: just wear one thing at a time. 

So if you’re wearing animal print shoes, then that should be the only animal print item in your outfit.

Also, make sure you’re wearing solid colors so the print is the main focus. You don’t want a bunch of patterns that clash. Neutrals like white, black, brown, khaki, camel, or taupe are best, although if you want to go bold, red, emerald green, orange, and denim are also striking choices. 

Finally, don’t over-complicate the look with a bunch of glitzy jewelry or accessories. Your accessories should complement the look, not compete for attention. 


So to sum it all up: whether you want your shoes to be loud or understated, there’s an animal print design that will work for you. So there’s no reason not to get in on this trend. 

You’ll look great, feel great, and may just get in touch with your wild side.