Animal print is one of the subjects that divides our readers the most – some people think it’s fun and glamorous, others think it’s cheap and tacky. I for one am in the first group, so much so that I wore floor-length leopard print to a wedding this weekend. That’s hardly the only example of the pattern that I have in my closet, and I find that adding it to almost any outfit garners lots of compliments (and probably a few unimpressed glances, but luckily, those people usually keep their opinions to themselves).

Despite my love for leopard I don’t have a bag in the pattern, but it looks like there are more than a couple of designers that are trying to fill that wardrobe gap for me. We’ve covered similar bags from Alexander Wang and Rebecca Minkoff before, but since more designers than I can count on one hand have debuted leopard looks recently, I think it’s time to officially call it a trend and discuss a few of my favorite examples.

Dolce & Gabbana Miss Sicily Satchel

There can be no discussions of leopard print accessories without starting with Dolce & Gabbana. They use the print nearly every season in one way or another, whether or not it’s fashionable at the moment, and they probably deserve a good bit of the credit for inspiring the trend that we’re seeing now. This bag is quintessential Dolce – attention-grabbing, luxurious and unmistakably sexy. Buy through Luisa Via Roma for $2283.

Lanvin Mini Pop Leopard Print Bag

Lanvin’s approach to leopard is a bit more subtle and ladylike, as is appropriate for the staid French house. If you’re looking to add just a touch of print to your wardrobe, something like this bag is perfect – it won’t overtake your outfit and can be used day and night for maximum versatility. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $1555.

Jimmy Choo Daphne Clutch

Alternately, if you’re looking for purely an evening bag, Jimmy Choo has you covered. I personally prefer the yellow version of this clutch, but for the purposes of this post, the orange has more leopard print. I particularly like the way that neon and leopard print look together, but for most people, that combination might be a tad much. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $1495.

Valentino Spotted Haircalf Tote

If you want to go as classy as possible while still buying in to a slightly wild trend, this Valentino bag is the way that you want to go. It’s very structured and bold while still managing to keep things a bit elegant, and that can be hard to do in the face of animal print. Also, if you thought that leopard was purely a trend for the very young, this bag might convince you otherwise – a woman of any age could carry it. Buy through Saks for $2990.

Yves Saint Laurent Leopard Print Roady Hobo

Of all of the available options, this Yves Saint Laurent hobo is my favorite. It’s slouchy and casual, but the haircalf pattern is so rich that it doesn’t skew too far toward the jeans-and-tees crowd. I could easily see this bag dressed up or down. Buy through Luisa Via Roma for $3571.

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  • BeBe

    I am right there with you Amanda…always LOVED animal print because it can be so fun! Some pieces of animal print can & often are tacky but when it’s done correctly, the print can serve as a wonderful alternative to a neutral & be much more interesting :-)

    I am still enjoying my leopard print Jimmy Choo Saba from fall almost 2 seasons ago & get compliments every time I bring her out…my hubby hates the bag because of how many people stop & want to know who makes it or just “pet” the haircalf :-)

    I think many women appreciate the animal print trend that typically rolls around in the fall, but some don’t believe they are bold enough to pull it off…I think those women should start off with a small dose like gloves & they will be suprised at how easy it is to pull off without looking cheap. Amanda…please let us know if you take the plunge with a bag. That YSL Roady Leopard Hobo is fabulous & I bet you would love it!!!

  • Emma

    To be honest, I can’t bring myself to love this new trend. Something about animal print always reminds me of tacky and trashy, but that’s just me. I’m sure I’m in the minority here but to each his (or in this case her) own I guess.

    • Sofia Nolan

      I can only agree Emma! Not only I`ve never been crazy about animal print, but what do you think of florals? Ugh, definitely not me.

  • Lydia M

    I thought I saw them (leopard print) since last year. LOVE them, but only if they’re printed in leather. Not a big fan of haircalf (though that Dolce & Gabbana one is absolutely FABS!)

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      They’ve been here and there for about a year, but it’s struck me lately that suddenly it seems like everyone is making a leopard print bag. It seems like the trend has finally reached critical mass.

  • Emzy

    Leopard print – it’s a look I would not spend money on. I tend to stick to ‘classic/boring’ colours when splashing out on expensive bags. However, I would buy a purse or something with a little bit of leopard trim but that’s it.

    However, that YSL Roady hobo is beautiful. That pattern is not too cluttered. I’m almost convinced!

  • gpc

    I happen to love leopard print handbags, but it is all relative and it is the complete look that seals the deal. Some designers do leopard print much better than others and a classy bag is a classy bag, whether it is leopard print or a solid color leather. The only time a leopard print bag is tacky is when it is a tacky, cheap bag and you are wearing a gawdy outfit to boot. Just imagine the YSL Roady or the D&G with a classy, muted neutral colored outfit – now that is not tacky.

  • mochababe73

    As much as I love animal print, I only have one animal print bag. As shoes go, I have like 5 pair. It’s hard to find a bag that doesn’t look like it came from Wal-mart in my particular price point. I have never been a fan of the Roady, but if I had the money, I would get that one. It is beautiful.

  • Chris

    Even though I am not a fan of animal prints, I love the D&G, as well as the Jimmy Choo and the YSL. Very often, animal prints look cheap, but these designs are classy and beautiful.

  • Claire

    I love the idea of them, but I don’t know if it suits my overall style.

  • annabelle

    wow i didn’t see any animal print designer bags…this is my first.
    really like the d&g and valentino purses <3 (fb)

  • dcblam

    Animal print, and esp. leopard, has been “IN” for DECADES ladies. This is NOT a new thing. When it is done well, it’s timeless. When the print is tacky, well, it’s just TPT!!!

  • MizzJ

    Hmm I think I prefer zebra to leopard as it is a bit less, er, Vegas-lady-of-the-night-ish!

    http://highmaintenancewoman.blogspot.com

  • Bagolicious

    I say bring out the leopard! I like leopard anything and everything. And that Dolce and Gabanna leopard handbag is to die for and the price is enough to kill! Now, I’ll be dreaming all night about that handbag. I knew I shouldn’t have come on the purse blog today. Let me breathe into a paper bag. I’m hyperventilating! LOL!

  • Kim

    I’m in the second group. Leopard makes me think of Jackie Collins. If one must, perhaps a small bit of leopard, like a belt. But I can’t help but think of the majestic, beautiful animal, and feel that it’s vulgar to wear their skins. Just like a leopard in the jungle sporting a human skin, showing off to his pride, “hey, look what I got,” is vulgar. But let’s face it, leopards are not vain and don’t kill to show off, they kill to eat. They would never wear a human skin.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      …you do realize that none of this is made of REAL leopard, right? It’s illegal in the US (and I would imagine in most other countries as well). This is mostly haircalf with leopard printed over it.

  • Bagolicious

    I agree with dcblam. Leopard is nothing new. It’s always been in and out and hot for decades; whether it’s been used in coats, shoes, handbags, gloves, hats/caps,scarves etc…

    I have three leopard coats, the oldest dating back to my 80s Patrick Kelly, quilted leopard coat, that I bought in the 80s and my newer 2008 Michael Kors, double-breasted, lightweight jacket. I also have a Nine-West, fitted leopard jacket, bought around 2003. And I have leopard in gloves, hats, shoes, and handbags that date as far back as the 80s.

    Almost every year, since the late 80s, I’ve packed my gorgeous Adrienne Vittadini leopard, structured, beret style hat for trips to Paris. It has stayed perfectly in style since I first bought it.

    There’s nothing as sharp and classy as a high quality leopard print worn with true red…like Audrey Hepburn in the 1960-something movie Charade…in her closing scene. For me leopard is a neutral.

  • Bagolicious

    Leopard, vulgar? Huh? Leather also came from an animal. And who’s buying real leopard items? Although there are items that are made in real leopard, not anyone I know owns any “real” leopard items.They are faux.

  • Aissa D.

    OMG ! You remind me of myself. You have to be FIERCE to rock a floor-length leopard print dress to a wedding. I freakin’ love it ! I love anything that’s leopard print. Always have. I’m 27 and remember wearing it when I was 15. Even my first dorm room comforter in college was leopard print. I love that it’s a trend but I consider it a classic. I’ll wear it whenever. Anyhoo, luv the post. I’m in love with leopard print handbags and these are some great finds. Please check out my blog http://www.thechicleopard.blogspot.com. thx :-)

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