So it seems Temple University’s beloved mascot is having a fashion moment.
Owls — eyes wide or closed — dangle wisely on the ends of necklaces and key chains. The nocturnal bird makes for cute brooches and bracelet charms. And on an oversize index-finger ring, they are commanding.
Where do they come from?
The ancient Greeks thought of owls as a symbol of the goddess Athena. Ancient Welsh customs linked the owls to fertility. However, to the Swahili peoples of East Africa, owls are bad omens and harbingers of death. And the Zulu peoples consider the owl the witch doctor’s bird. (This is why modern-day folks look at the owl as a symbol of the Illuminati.)
That said, except for a few scattered home and garden statues, owls didn’t fly onto the pop-culture radar until Harry Potter fans met the young wizard’s pet, Hedwig, in the first film in 2001.
Two years later, the king of chic home design Jonathan Adler included an alabaster-hued owl carved from concentric circles in his Menagerie collection. In 2009, Real Housewives of New York reality personality Kelly Killoren Bensimon included an owl pendant in her HSN jewelry collection for $325. (Former Elle editor Celeste Greenberg sued Bensimon, accusing her of stealing the idea, but lost.)
It wasn’t long before brands from Alex & Ani to Alex Woo were incorporating owls into all manner of woodland- and nature-inspired designs. Then came Forever 21’s multicolored necklace version. In 2012, Justin Bieber unveiled an owl tattoo on his left arm. And in April, rapper Drake spent $120,000 on an owl necklace, the spirit animal of his clothing/record label OVO.
Who is wearing them?
Anyone who wants to dress up a black sheath dress, a white button-up, or a floral romper.
Would Elizabeth wear one?
I so want one.
Should you wear one?
Only if you believe that wearing an owl brings good luck.