Real fur and animal skins were once a need for warmth but over time have been replaced by cheap synthetic materials. Over the past 30 years, the fashion industry has been criticized by PETA activists for using real fur, so designers have sought out other, less controversial ways to continue incorporate animals into their collection.
While animal prints like leopard and zebra have been recycled on the runway for years, it's the increase of more realistic images of animals that should be focused on. Last February, many collections showed a number of these things. Jill Stuart features silkscreen printed dresses of owls and foxes; Givenchy shows an array of panther T-shirts for women and Rottweiler-adorned button-downs for men.
Though animal imagery has been an enormous focus of women's wear, designers have taken a cue for their fall 2012 menswear collections. The New York Times reported that the runways in Milan were suggestive of a zoo.