So much hope is pinned on the Year of the Water Tiger, as it leaps into our lives with a roar.
Because fortune favors the bold, alluding to the Tiger, Tiffany & Co. offers up the Tiffany fleur-de-lis pendant in yellow gold with carnelian and diamonds. Long associated with the French crown and heraldic symbols, this lily flower was said to have sprung from the tears shed by Eve as she left Eden.
Most other luxury labels, from Tod’s and Prada to Gucci and Christian Louboutin, have dropped capsule collections capitalizing on the rich symbolisms as well as the fresh energies that the New Year should usher in.
Nothing is more inspiring than the Tiger’s elegant coat, which should prompt us all to earn our stripes. The King of the Jungle—and the largest of all cats—have much to teach us about power, especially where you need to harness it against all odds, in a place rife with threats and danger.
On the Forever Tiger watch at Charriol, whose dial design matches figurative with abstract, two mesmerizing eyes are set amid a dynamic composition of black strokes on orange ground, echoing the quick bursts of a cat in motion. The watch, part of a new series of bangles, under Charriol’s Forever Animal collection, the Panthera Tigris is perfectly captured as an endless source of fascination and symbol of all the danger and beauty that exist in nature.
Ferragamo, on the other hand, has collaborated with Chinese artists Sun Yuan and Peng Yu on a unique print inspired by traditional Chinese paintings, featuring the Tiger as a symbol of passion, daring, auspiciousness, and safety in Chinese culture. In silk foulard and the Ferragamo Studio Bag, oriental charm and modern sophistication combine to unleash pure feline power.
Arise from sleep, old cat,
And with great yawns and stretchings…
Amble out for love —Kobayashi Issa
The Tiger, strong and lordly, is an ancient symbol of China’s emperors, although the symbolism includes the not-so-positive attributes associated with the imperials, such as cruelty and aggression. At Marni, the beast is made less intimidating—and more free-spirited—in a limited series of accessories and ready-to-wear designs for both men and women, for which the Milan brand turned to Venezuelan artist Magdalena Suarez Frimkess on a collab that has turned her sculpture-like cartoon Tiger into prints, embroideries, and jacquards.
In feng shui, keeping things low-key is many a guru’s wise advice and the Tiger has mastered the art of camouflage, a skill we could use if we wish to take the world by surprise. But the Tiger has also much to teach us about mustering the courage to stake our claims, to fight for what matters (tigers only hunt when hungry), or at the very least to stand out. In Tod’s Kate loafer and sneakers, both in the tiger print version, you are sure to make a mark. These tiger-inspired pieces are part of a limited edition that draws inspiration from the Tiger’s unmistakable coat and the lucky colors of red and gold and includes the T-Timeless bag in a tiger print fabric with black leather details and the Kate bag in red calf leather.
The Tiger, a mainstay in Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele’s collections, reflects how fascinated he has always been with nature. Reprising a late 1960s archival design by Vittorio Accornero, the artist and illustrator behind Gucci’s signature Flora design, the tiger prowls though pastel greenery and flowers of the current collection. For this season, the iconic print finds its way to assorted ready-to-wear pieces, such as jackets and denim, shirts, dresses, and knitwear. More than print, it also makes its appearance as patches and embroideries on signature shoes, bags, eyewear, hats, watches, and also—like a Tiger biding its time in the bushes—in the lining of a trenchcoat.
At Prada, it’s more than a whimsical tribute to the zodiac animal. The Italian brand has just launched a campaign, “Action in the Year of the Tiger,” to call attention to the fact that while the majestic beast is an animal of great power, it is also among the many species on the brink of extinction, its natural habitats going, going, gone at an alarming rate. To make its homage more meaningful, Prada has donated to China Green Foundation’s “Walking with Tiger and Leopard’’ program designed for the conservation of the endangered Amur tiger.
Luck is all in the jaw-dropping Elisha crossbody bag from Christian Louboutin, if you care to put in the effort to turn this year into the Year of Passion, Love, and Fortune. After all, it is also reliable feng shui advice that if you want good in the world, you must do good in it. And in 2022, with the Tiger, such a forceful animal, reigning supreme, if you want a better world, go for it: Be better.