Jan. 1, 1971
Woodsy Owl becomes the U.S. Forest Service's mascot, with the motto, "Give a hoot! Don't pollute." The conservation movement just may have triggered the first wave of owl mania.
Zsa Zsa Gabor joins Woodsy in efforts to fight pollution.
(Reed Saxon / Associated Press)
Jan. 1, 1977
The macramé owl is firmly established as must-have home decor. In the L.A. Times Home magazine on July 3, 1977, a do-it-yourself owl wall-hanging kit was featured for $7.95, plus $1.25 for shipping.
(Joan Fantazia / Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens)
Jan. 1, 2001
Hedwig, Harry Potter's snowy pet, didn't start the owl renaissance in fashion and home furnishings, but she did get children begging for the bird. It became the rage in Britain, prompting J.K. Rowling to declare that if anyone believed "an owl would be happiest shut in a small cage and kept in a house, I would like to take this opportunity to say as forcefully as I can: Please don't."
(Peter Mountain / AP Photo/Warner Brothers)
Jan. 1, 2003
An owl first appears in hip potter Jonathan Adler's Menagerie collection. "As a designer, I love to interpret owls," Adler says nearly a decade later. "They're great because Mother Nature has already done the design work. She made owls just a couple of giant eyes with a head that goes anywhere you want it." His owls fly onto needlepoint pillows and take the form of stuffed toys and salt-and-pepper shakers.
Jan. 1, 2004
Pretty birds and butterflies increasingly enter the marketplace, says Maren Hartman, a director at WGSN, a trend forecasting company. "Owls are an evolution of that."
(Eric Boyd / Los Angeles Times)
Jan. 1, 2006
The growing popularity of eco-anything spurs an uptick in woodland-creature motifs, notes Debbye Strickler of Trend House, another forecasting firm. "Birds were trending, and the owl seems to be the standout star of that." Owls have something sparrows don't, Strickler says: versatility. They can seem cartoonish or lifelike, whimsical or serious, menacing or simply wise and sophisticated.
(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
June 1, 2006
Artist Klaus Haapaniemi creates Taika ("Magic" in Finnish), a dinnerware collection for manufacturer Iittala. The enchanting line with a fanciful owl continues to sell well today and is available at Bloomingdale's in Century City.
(Reuben E. Reynoso)
Jan. 1, 2007
Jo-an Jenkins, who as editor in chief of the British forecasting agency TrendPulse is always on the prowl for the next big thing, takes note of a vintage owl lamp and a set of kitchen canisters printed with owls at the upscale Decorative Fair for antiques and textiles in London. The Times feels the owl vibe too: In our tour of drag queen Jackie Beat's Highland Park home, we find a collection of vintage ceramic owls, along with an advertising plaque for a bar, also featuring an owl.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
April 1, 2007
Yolk, the modern housewares boutique in Silver Lake, starts carrying an orange Plexiglas owl mobile by local designer Helene Ige. "Birds are big sellers, in general," says store manager Toni Senatore, "but people come in asking for owls."
Aug. 1, 2007
Z Gallerie commissions "Nocturnal," a hand-embellished photograph of an owl on canvas by Southern California artist Samantha Carlisle. Five years later, it's still a favorite and has been joined by owl coin banks, bookends and paperweights. William Silveira, vice president of merchandising: "We were surprised to see how many people added our Feathered Owls to their Thanksgiving tablescapes this year."
Jan. 1, 2008
Trendsetter Ron Robinson at Fred Segal starts selling owl jewelry. "We carried about four different owl pieces," says Karen Meena, vice president of buying and merchandising. Though she thinks the trend peaked in 2010, the bird is still going strong at Lifesize, the company's children's store, which sells owl bags, knit hats and plush toys.
Jan. 1, 2008
The Times' Home section notes the owl phenomenon in January. Brooke Hodge, then curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Contemporary Art in L.A., comments on the decorating trend, telling a Los Angeles Times reporter that "acorns and owls are the new deer and daisies." Readers go ga-ga for the Rick Lee-designed owl floor lamps.
April 1, 2009
Kelly Killoren Bensimon, former model and cast member of "The Real Housewives of New York City," is sued, accused of stealing the idea to replicate a vintage owl pendant. Bensimon prevails and sells the crystal-encrusted pendant, in gold or silver, for $285 on the Home Shopping Network.
(Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images for Jimmy Choo)
Aug. 1, 2009
Shannon Dietzmann, director of merchandising at Anthropologie, notes an owl "golden moment": French artist Nathalie Lété creates a rug with a "whimsical yet sophisticated owl motif." Today, Lété's owls grace stoneware plates selling for $24 each.
Jan. 1, 2011
Urban Home stores introduce two ceramic owls and in the following year expand the motif to 15 to 20 products — figurines, vases, pillows. The owl trend "took on a life of its own," marketing director Jan Hall says.
April 1, 2011
A birthday card from Paperless Post featuring a stern bird wearing a silly party hat swoops into email in-boxes across the country. Twelve other owls later join the flock. The most popular design, Ornamental Owl (in the color Kumquat), has taken flight more than 25,000 times.
Jan. 1, 2012
Sellers on Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade design, offer 170,321 objects with "owl" as part of their description. By comparison, the count is 15,163 for squirrels, 33,127 for snakes and 68,666 for elephants.
April 1, 2012
Just three years after West Elm carried a single owl object, a holiday snow globe, the retailer raises the stakes with no fewer than 60 items, including cookie jars and measuring cups. "We always had success with birds," says Shane Brogan, vice president of merchandising, "but none was ever as popular as the owl." Last year, the company donated $5 for every mercury owl figurine it sold to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "We ran out before December even hit," Brogan says, adding that this year the St. Jude owl comes as a ceramic figurine in a choice of seven colors. "We've already sold over 21,000."
Aug. 1, 2012
Justin Bieber reveals a new owl tattoo on his left arm. Quips Jenkins of TrendPulse: "Owls are now definitely over."
(Gilbert Carrasquillo / Getty Images)