The Animal-Print Bathing Suit Is the Swimwear Statement of the Summer

How to make a splash at the beach or the pool? Try an animal-print swimsuit. While the motif is certainly bold, it’s a classic too: Actress Jayne Mansfield posed in a risqué, stretchy leopard-spotted bikini in the 1950s, while years later, supermodel Amber Valletta made a case for the itsy-bitsy animal-print bikini for Vogue’s November 2003 issue. More recently, jungle spots were spotted on the runways of Tom Ford, Michael Kors, and Area for Fall 2018. “Maybe after seeing the recent collections filled with animal prints, swimwear is a way to jump on the trend,” says Vogue Associate Market Editor Madeline Fass. “Plus, the prints go hand in hand with the retro styles that are making a comeback.”

In that vein, Zimmermann and Cynthia Rowley both make high-waisted leopard-print bikinis, while Monday Swim’s string thing is a more daring, barely there incarnation. Ganni’s burgundy maillot covered in fast-moving feline spots offers a remix of the look, while a one-piece by P.E Nation covered in zebra stripes has a sexy-athleisure feel. Any way you spin it, the look is the cat’s meow.


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