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What fauna might we fawn over next?

If the owl trend starts to dive, what animal would next capture the imagination of home decorators? Fox? Squirrel? Beetle?

December 15, 2012|By Christy Hobart
(Sass & Peril )

If the owl ever does fly the coop, what “it” critter is next?

The indie craft artisans who caught the owl trend early and propelled it into mass-market stores are feeling foxy in a big way. A pointy-eared, whiskered portrait of cuteness is the top seller for Shannon Kennedy, a Long Beach artist who silk-screens animal prints under the studio name Sass & Peril.

“People have been walking by and saying, ‘The fox must be the new owl,'” Kennedy said from her booth at the Renegade craft market in downtown L.A. last weekend.

Timeline: How the owl became a decorating sensation

Indeed, at the booth of pillow maker Peanut Butter Dynamite, co-founder Miran Elseewi said a crocheted fox named Cody was crushing all the other critters in her collection. Only Ellie the penguin came close in popularity. And in the booth of Heidi and Susie Bauer, sisters who run the San Fernando stationery company Rock Scissor Paper, a mug showing a wide-eyed fox with deep orange coat and white snout was a top seller too.

“At Unique L.A. it flew off the shelf,” Heidi said, referring to another one of L.A.'s modern craft markets. “We had to go back to the studio and fire up more.”

Shane Brogan, vice president of merchandising at West Elm, said many in his office are betting on the fox. But him?

“My money's on the squirrel,” he said.

Trend forecaster Maren Hartman says she has been hearing a lot about the fox, but she's thinking bugs — perhaps iridescent beetles.

In this line of succession, do horses stand a chance? Trend forecaster Jo-an Jenkins thought so.

“They seem suddenly everywhere at the moment,” she said.

Finally, there are those like trend forecaster Debbye Strickler, who thinks the owl may be a perennial. Shannon Dietzmann at Anthropologie agrees.

“Owls are a top search item on our site every week,” she said.

Jonathan Adler, the ceramist whose work some credit as starting the trend, thinks owls are here to stay.

“They're beloved, they look great,” he said. “And they signify so many things — nature, the hippie dippie '60s, the macramé '70s and the Urban Woodsman trend of today.”

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