Monday, April 14, 2014

30 Years After Heyday, Logos are Back in Fashion

In the 80s, "greed was good", and the spoils of it were emblazoned with big expensive fashion logos.  Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Versace were just a few of the popular brands everyone loved to brandish. They became so chic that soon the counterfeiters were in on the action, and discount clothing bazaars and street vendors from Canal Street in New York to Silom Road in Bangkok had knockoffs of all the big brands. Soon logo t-shirts, bags, and baseball caps were the height of vulgarity, instead of exclusivity, and the pendulum swung far, far away.

Now it's come full circle, and designers are bringing back big bold logos on their clothes, but this time with a wink and a nod to irony. Will consumers of the twenty-teens embrace the trend as their parents did in the eighties?

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
Financial Times

Link to article:

Excerpt: "After years in the fashion wilderness, the look-at-me logo is back. Whether it’s on sweatshirts, T-shirts or bags, designers have rediscovered the guilt-free way for consumers to indulge in their fetish for brands: irony, and lots of it.

'The return of logos, especially those used in an ironic manner, makes sense right now,' says Dana Thomas, author of the book Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Lustre. 'Young creators, in music as well as in fashion, are turning to the 1980s for inspiration and that was the period when logo mania first hit hard . . . The new take on logos is more romantic, softer, and even humorous – it has all been filtered through the haze of time. We’re all a bit more jaded, a bit more wise. We bought into marketing then; we mock it today.'

American designer Alexander Wang has been at the forefront of this new logo wave, lasercutting his name into leather dresses, T-shirts and skirts for his spring collection. The DKNY collection featured its name in bold repeat on tracksuits, skirts, sweaters and anoraks. Then there was Marc Jacobs’ swansong collection for Louis Vuitton, which opened with model Edie Campbell painted with Stephen Sprouse-designed Vuitton lettering. London Fashion Week designer Nasir Mazhar’s first collection, for autumn/winter 2014, used clothes inspired by the 1990s group TLC and covered in his name. And for the past four seasons Kenzo has applied its name and tiger motif to sweaters, caps, bags and wallets – and the fashion crowd love it.

The concept of authorised 'brand-jacking' is another thread to the knowing tone. Following the success of Brian Lichtenberg’s line of sweatshirts and T-shirts bearing the legend 'Homies' (in Hermès iconography) or 'Féline' (in Céline lettering), other brands have been seizing on the taboo of counterfeit culture. In November last year, musician MIA collaborated with Versus Versace to create a capsule collection inspired by bootleg versions of Versace products.

More appropriation of brand imagery appeared in Ashish’s spring/summer 2014 collection, which included sequinned garments emblazoned with the words Coca-Cola. Jeremy Scott’s Moschino collection for autumn/winter played with images from mass-market brands such as McDonald’s and Hershey’s and cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants, while Anya Hindmarch used graphics from household products.

So far, so tongue in cheek, subverting the idea of what constitutes a “luxury label”; but this ironic stance enables consumers to have their cake and wear it when it comes to bold branding.

'We’re seeing our core customer in her thirties or forties mixing and matching logos with high-end looks and understated separates,' says Ben Matthews, buying manager at Net-a-Porter. 'Logo-emblazoned pieces are also a fun way for a younger customer to buy into a brand. And, for those of us that remember logo mania the first time, these pieces bring about a sense of nostalgia. It’s linked to the move towards sportswear and street­wear we have seen on runways in recent seasons.'"

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