Kylie Jenner’s Schiaparelli Lion Dress Causes Uproar on the Internet

While the dress was applauded by PETA, others had different thoughts.
By Madison E. Goldberg
(Photo by Marc Piasecki/WireImage)

This Paris Fashion Week, celebrities made bold choices for Schiaparelli’s haute couture show in Paris. Some items from the surrealist fashion house’s upcoming spring/summer 2023 line caused more of an uproar than others. Kylie Jenner wore a simple black dress and heels from the brand, but with one notable accessory–a life sized faux lion’s head that covered her entire torso.


The collection was designed by Schiaparelli’s Daniel Roseberry. The lion was hand-sculpted from foam, wool and silk faux fur. The collection was based on Dante’s Inferno, an epic that follows Dante’s journey through the circles of Hell, guided by the ancient Roman poet Virgil. The leopard, the lion, and the she-wolf all represent different sins in the story.

The collection (and Kylie’s participation in it) received thoroughly mixed reviews across the internet. The couture fashion industry marveled at its creativity and even pointed out that Jenner is a Leo (for which the symbol is a lion), while others were concerned that the animal heads were real.

@gaymanwithaspraytan

#greenscreen #kyliejenner #thekardashians #kardashians Kylie Jenner in Schiaparelli for Paris Couture Fashion Week! Kylie Jenner wears lion head dress for PFW!

♬ original sound – Gay Man with a Spray Tan

Despite the animal heads being artificial, many still felt that it glorified poaching.

@julianadeliberais

As soon as I saw the dress with the lion’s head I thought of lion poaching. This to me is not fashion. What are your thoughts? #schiaparelli #lionshead #animalcruelty #parisfashionweek #avantgardefashion #kyliejenner #fashiontiktok

♬ original sound – Juliana Deliberais

Celebrities also had mixed reactions to Kylie’s look and the collection as a whole. Actress Shay Mitchell commented fire emojis on Kylie’s instagram post from the event. Meanwhile, wildlife documentarian and BBC Earth presenter Dan O’Neill condemned it in a series of Instagram stories, saying that despite the heads being fake, “imagery is powerful.”

In a surprising turn of events, animal rights organization PETA approved of the controversial dress.

Model Irina Shayk, who walked in the Schiaparelli show wearing a similar lion dress, defended Jenner’s ensemble and Roseberry’s collection, calling it “artistry.”

Model Naomi Campbell, who modeled the “she-wolf” faux fur coat on the runway, has not spoken regarding the controversy.

Jenner is yet to publicly voice her choice behind wearing the lion ensemble, and people appear to be assuming one of two things–she was protesting against trophy hunting, or a homage to her zodiac sign that felt tone deaf.

Others felt the controversies distracted from even more intricate looks at the show. Doja Cat was fully covered in red swarovski crystals by makeup artist Pat McGrath. The look was dubbed “Doja’s Inferno” in keeping with the theme.

@nawalornoel

She comes in ☮️ #dojacat #kyliejenner #schiaparelli #nawalornoel

♬ I Got 5 On It – Tethered Mix from US – Michael Abels & Luniz

Roseberry assumed there would be controversy, despite Schiaparelli’s focus on surrealism and high art rather than direct political commentary. In a press release, he reiterated that “Nothing is as it appears to be in these clothes. The leopard, the lion, and the she-wolf — representing lust, pride, and avarice, respectively — find form here in spectacular faux-taxidermy creations.”

Partially due to illegal trophy hunting across the African continent, lions are now officially categorized as “vulnerable” in terms of risk of extinction. Regardless of her intentions behind the look, it has started a conversation on animal rights and conservation.

The rest of the Kardashian-Jenners haven’t spoken on the controversial outfit at this time, and Jenner remains in Paris for several other major fashion house shows this week.