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Trends from Tiger King – yes, it’s a thing

Tiger King is an opportunity to refresh your existing animal print, Americana and Western products. Explore the data behind these trends and how retailers are responding to the hype.
Trends from Tiger King – yes, it’s a thing | EDITED

Hey, all you cool cats and kittens. In case you’ve been living under a rock and missed it, Netflix released a documentary on March 20th that has united the world in a time of crisis. Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness offers some much-needed relief.

This is also an opportunity to refresh your existing animal print, Americana and Western products. Read on for the data behind these trends and how your customers and competitors are responding to the hype.

Want to see the analysis reports Zara, Puma and Marni take into their weekly meetings? Learn more here.

Aside from tigers, what’s the show about? 

Joe Exotic

The series follows animal print wearing and private zoo owner, Joe Exotic – a ‘gay, gun-toting cowboy with a mullet.’

Polygamy & amateur songwriting

Joe Exotic had two husbands and enjoyed making low budget music videos (the songs will grow on you).

Carole Baskin is the enemy

Joe’s antagonist, whose mission is to end the abuse of large cats via her Big Cat Rescue sanctuary. She only wears animal print and may have fed her ex-husband to her tigers. 

Doc Antle 

A top trainer of big cats and women. You might have seen him in a cage with Britney Spears during her performance of “I’m a Slave 4 U” at the 2001 VMAs.

What does this mean for animal prints?

While all animal prints have seen a decline YoY for products in stock within menswear, tiger has seen the smallest drop. There’s also been a notable shift in the number of full sellouts in this pattern.

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Retailers dropped new shirts and swimwear this week, allowing these two categories to dominate the tiger print products currently in stock. Topman’s shirt option was released alongside an Instagram post referencing the show. The luxury market is also backing tiger print with the likes of Roberto Cavalli, Dsqaured2, Tom Ford and Versace, further proving its longevity.

For womenswear, animal prints are still very much in favor. Last spring/summer season saw a drop in arrivals across both regions, with investment only picking back up through the festive period – a partywear favorite. Instead of dropping back down, newness arrivals remained stable this year.

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Women’s animal print arrivals in the US and UK

After the show aired on March 20th, we noted a significant increase in emails communicating animal prints.

Still a mainstay pattern on the runway, Fall 2020 saw leopard midi dresses and snakeskin boots persist – trends likely to already be in your assortment.

Other trends to include

Don’t limit yourself to just animal print. With festivals across the globe canceled, jump on the adventurous Tiger King aesthetic and promote Americana and Western trends – look to Reiss’ current menswear campaign for inspiration. Offer your consumers the complete look and promote the more fashion forward pieces under these themes.


1. Western shirts

Prominent on the Fall 2020 runway, this silhouette will see you through the year.

2. Leather/suede jackets

Black, rich browns, tan and beige should be featured, as well as trucker and biker styles – push vegan alternatives and fringing if you have it.

3. Stretch jeans

At a time where sweatpants sell outs are outpacing jeans, push comfort denim styles as part of the story.

4. Baseball caps

Hats aren’t going to be top of mind with consumers on lockdown, so use the show to push this category.


1. Fringed outwear

Fringing was a major trend on the FW20 runway, which is best paired with leather jackets and Western shirts for this story.

2. Cowboy boots

As it’s likely in your assortment, the boot shape is synonymous with Joe Exotic style.

3. Western buckle belts

For a subtle nod to the theme, look to belts. Add diamanté detailing for a bolder take.

4. Flower crowns

A festival favorite. With Coachella postponed, can Carole Baskin save the flower crown?

How your customers have responded

With numerous celebrities joining in on the meme-worthy content and dress up challenges, consumer engagement with the trend looks set to continue. During isolation and lockdowns the trend provides a little light-hearted relief while bringing viewers together – another reason to join the conversation.

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EDITED user? Log in to see how Tiger King is influencing social trends in our report Social Snapshot: Tie-Dye Loungewear, Tiger King & Sage.

How your competitors have responded

With customers in need of relief from the situation at hand, capitalize on the hype. London-based label, Lazy Oaf posted a fake collaboration with the series as an April Fools’ Joke. While All Saints, Topman and Adore Me are using the show to draw customers to their existing animal print products.

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