Logo or No Go?

It would seem that high-end fashion has gone logo-manic in the past few years.

I’m not talking about a subtle little pony on the chest of a Ralph Lauren polo shirt, or even a hoodie with Gap on it.

I’m talking full-on, in-your-face, loud, expensive brand names smothering a piece of clothing or accessory.

It all began innocently enough.

In the early part of the past decade, sales of Louis Vuitton’s classic monogram print handbags started to slow.

Coach brand decided to focus on promoting its legacy leather products with minimal embellishments instead of its ubiquitous “C” print.

Some fashion pundits pondered if the logo was dead.

Well, as with many trends, when the pendulum swings too far in one direction, it returns with ferocity.

In 2016 and 2017, as Vuitton’s monogram sales suddenly jumped, other European couture houses such as Dior, Gucci and Fendi revived their heritage logo prints.

Then contemporary designers got into the market with Coach and Michael Kors putting out more and more products emblazoned with their signatures.

Last year, the whole trend reached fever pitch with brands simply putting their names all over utterly uninspired street wear.

Why have just a plain black turtleneck when you can have one with Balenciaga written all over it? It only costs $1,690!

If that seems a bit pricey, you can get a white t-shirt with Michael Kors written all down the long sleeves for a mere $98.

I can cope with subtle maker’s marks, but should a shirt visually shout its label?

If you absolutely adore Louis Vuitton’s logo, you can now buy a bag from the new Monogram Giant collection. This way no one can possibly miss what brand you are toting.

Sigh.... I am really looking forward to this trend going away. As a life long lover of fashion, I admire the creativity of professional designers and appreciate the craftsmanship of premier-quality couture.

However, simply putting a name on a piece of plain clothing and thus deeming it superior is the antithesis of style.

I understand the psychology of logos. When purchasing luxury goods, one isn’t simply buying garments but buying an image. It’s aspirational, it’s a status symbol.

Is this really any different that someone wanting a BMW or Mercedes?

But what fashion is doing right now is like Rolls Royce producing a Hyundai with RR plastered all over it. It verges on fraudulence.

Interestingly, a logo-void, minimalist counter-movement is gaining traction in fashion at the same time.

Brands such as Mansur Gavriel, Khaite and Everlane are distinguishing themselves by producing high-quality and simply elegant designs free of visible labels.

What do you think when you see someone wearing obviously branded attire? Do you covet, or do you think they are trying too hard?


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About the Author

Marla is best known for her 19-year career in the local charitable sector as a fund development and marketing manager with the Okanagan Regional Library, United Way, UBC Okanagan, and Kelowna Community Resources. 

In 2014, Marla and her husband decided to take a break from the work world, and, four years, later they are still enjoying Okanagan summers, winters in Mexico, and extensive travel. 

Marla has had a life-long passion for fashion, designing her own graduation dress and formal gown for the 1990 Miss Interior competition before age 20.

In 2014, she was named one of nine Style Ambassadors for a year-long marketing campaign at Orchard Park Mall. Her motto is “Life is short...you might as well go through it looking good."

If you have a style question or topic you’d like Marla to cover in this column, contact her at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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