By Hannah J Davies
Joe Exotic’s nemesis on the Netflix show Tiger King inspired everyone from Dolce & Gabbana to Kim Kardashian West
When it came to TV infamy in 2020, two names rose above the rest: Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin. The mulletted, jail-dwelling zoo proprietor and his activist enemy were the stars of Netflix hit Tiger King. Released early in lockdown, the series spawned feverish debate on everything from animal welfare to whether it might, hypothetically, be possible to feed your spouse to a tiger. At the centre of it all, Baskin became a pop culture hit and – perhaps surprisingly – a style superstar.
Baskin’s trademark animal prints have since been inescapable, with the press praising her “Eton mess of leopard spots and tiger stripes”, often worn top to toe. Brands such as Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana and Balenciaga majored in animal print for spring/summer 2020, meaning that Baskin was, by chance, right on trend – the everywoman who happened to be sporting the look of the moment, because that was always her look. The fast fashion retailer Missguided published a guide to channelling her style, while celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West would later use her as Halloween inspiration.