The Time Has Come: Help Us Pick 2012's It Animal

Okay, folks, the time has come. Owls (as we’ve shown you) are out, wolves are done, and little birds are oh-ver (thanks Portlandia).
That's right people, we need a new It Animal for 2012 – a furry or feathered creature that can be the star of runway shows, lapel pins, and tote bags everywhere. Since this is seriously important, crucial stuff, we’re going to allow you the final word on this – so, after flipping through our list of likely candidates, please cast your vote for It Animal of 2012 in the comments below (and, yes, feel free to nominate any stylish species we might have left out).
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Polar Bears Not only is this the morally responsible choice (they’re seriously endangered, guys) it may be the most timely. Similar to the fever we all caught when our dearly departed Knut first snagged the public eye, the Internets are currently loony over a Denmark zoo’s new polar cub, Siku.Stella McCartney, Polar bear intarsia wool and alpaca-blend sweater, $1,145, available at Net-a-Porter

Photos: iPhoto; Net-a-Porter
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Peacocks Though this show-off hasn’t taken center-stage for quite a while, the regal peacock is ever on the periphery of style (barely a season goes by without its multi-chromatic feathers making a runway appearance). Perhaps in our post-Gaga era of engineered excess, it’s time the peacock takes its rightful place on handmade T-shirts and digitally printed skirts.Matthew Williamson, Peacock-printed silk-chiffon scarf, $210, at Net-a-Porter.

Photos: iPhoto; Net-a-Porter
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Foxes Cute and sly – just like our ideal mate – the fox has been charging up the It Animal charts in recent years. And no wonder, with contrasting white socks and snout, burnt-orange fur, black accents, and fluffy tail accessorizing, its styling is totally on-trend.3.1 Phillip Lim Fox Origami patent-leather waist belt, $150, available at Net-a-Porter.

Photos: iPhoto; Net-a-Porter
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Monkeys We’re not talking Paul Frank here. Acrobatic, playful, and available in near-infinite varieties, non-cartoonish monkeys could represent a return to fun times. Will 2012 be the real Rise of the Planet of the Apes? Vivienne Westwood Anglomania, Monkey jersey t-shirt, $253, available at Luisa Via Roma.

Photos: iPhoto; Luisa Via Roma
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Giraffes The long-necked, long-legged runway model of the animal kingdom, the awkward yet beautiful giraffe is long overdue for some attention. More to the point, its print is just as colorful and easy to wear as that of the leopard, but far more rare and, frankly, classy. Karen Walker Flutter Collar Giraffe Dress, $338, available at Glassworks Studio.

Photos: iPhoto; Glassworks Studio.
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Seals If you happen to be hopelessly addicted to cuteness, maybe the seal (particularly the wee, wide-eyed baby variety) is the right spirit animal for you. Now, we couldn’t actually find much in the way of seal-themed product, which just goes to show that the aquatic cuties are owed their moment and just look at this little guy. How could you disappoint a face like that? Photo: iPhoto.
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