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Darwin the Ikea Monkey Among 2012 Highlights of Fashion

( Image Credit: SWNS.com)Darwin, the rhesus macaque monkey who made global headlines when he was photographed wearing a shearling coat outside of an Ikea in Canada earlier this month, has been recognized as one of the year's highlights of fashion.

In a review of the top 10 fashion highlights of 2012 published on Tuesday by The Guardian Newspaper, fashion writer Lauren Cochrane named the rise in popularity of the midriff, the growing demand for high fashion in China and older models on the high-fashion catwalk as standouts of the year.

And then, there were the animals. She acknowledged that the year had featured notable celebrity pets, including designer Karl Lagerfeld's pampered cat, Choupette, and reality TV star Kim Kardashian's late cat, Mercy.

"And yet they were all trumped by Darwin, the monkey who wandered into a Canadian branch of Ikea in a very smart sheepskin coat, instantly stealing the crown for most fashionable pet. Animals really do the funniest things," Cochrane wrote.

MORE: Coat-Wearing Monkey Captured in Ikea Parking Lot

Darwin captured the world's attention when he escaped from his owner's car while she shopped at Ikea in Toronto on Dec. 9. Amazed shoppers spotted the diaper-and-coat-clad animal and took pictures.

The store's staffers cornered the animal until officials from the city's Animal Services Department arrived on the scene and took the tiny, 7-month-old primate to a sanctuary, where he'll remain indefinitely.

His owner, Yasmin Nakhuda, staged a protest on Wednesday in a bid to get Darwin - her "child," she said - returned to her.

RELATED: Designer Karl Lagerfeld Spoils Cat Choupette With 2 Maids, iPad

The image of a monkey in the midst of an Ikea parking lot quickly went viral, inspiring the hashtag #ikeamonkey, its own Twitter handle, @IkeaMonkey, a meme of Photoshopped pictures and newsfeeds full of humorous tweets.

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