In New York, you aren’t supposed to be surprised by anything you see on the street. Fights, streakers, hustlers, jugglers, marching bands – they all pass by to a sweeping shrug of indifference from commuters determined to get home from work. However, if anything could drag a native New Yorker down from their impassive pedestals, it would surely be the sight of a zebra crossing a zebra crossing in the centre of Manhattan. No matter, it has garnered the full attention of AnOther’s Lovers, winning the Loves vote for India van Spall.
Zebras are essentially the best upholstered horses in the world, with each individual’s monochrome striped coat being unique to them, like a human fingerprint. Sadly, their stripes have also caused many species to be hunted to near extinction, such as the Cape mountain zebra, of which there are just 700 left in the world. Attempts have been made to domesticate them, due to their strong resistance to African diseases and the Tsetse fly, however, they are more unpredictable than horses and prone to panic in difficult situations, making them unreliable steeds. But it has been done; indeed the Victorian zoologist Walter Rothschild frequently used a team of zebras to draw his carriage around London.
On Loves, the zebra is a perennial favourite, whether it be the print on a JOSEPH clutch, a Guido Daniele Handimal or, in what we can only assume is a surreal piece of photoshop craftsmanship, a zebra clinging to a giraffe’s neck. So as we ask van Spall to open up about her Love for this metropolitan zebra, we also present some of our personal print favourites.
Why did you love this zebra?
I love the idea of a zebra being brazen enough to walk nonchalantly through the streets of New York without anyone batting an eyelid.
Where would you keep the picture if you owned it?
This image is so beautifully striking and surreal I would ensure it took pride of place in my own vast private gallery, reserved for the finest works of art!
What would you wear to take this zebra on an urban stroll?
My black and white Adidas Superstars so we’d be in matching stripes.
What is your favourite exotic animal?
I adore the Slow Loris, with their huge beautiful eyes and little human hands, they are just magical! Watch this video of one eating a rice ball and tell me you don’t feel the same way. I also love Capybaras and Alpacas, I can’t choose, they’re all so hilariously cute!
The zebra is rather out of its comfort zone in New York – what is your favourite fish out of water story in film or literature?
Lost in Translation.
Do you have a favourite traffic control measure? If so, why?
Lollypop ladies and men (do they count?!) They bring an air of nostalgia.
What is your favourite animal print to wear?
I love a classic crocodile or tortoiseshell print when I’m feeling uber glamorous. Frankly any animal print will jazz up my usual all black attire.
What are you looking forward to about summer?
Long lazy days with tonnes of 99 ice creams! It’s also my birthday in July, so summer is always the perfect season in my eyes.
What was the last thing you bought?
A pair of vintage high-waisted Mulberry trousers. I’ve barely taken them off since.