Some say we’ve reached peak logo, but we think not. Having been reintroduced at a luxury level, they are now at the forefront of fashion and their rise in desirability has been astronomical. And, as fickle as fashion is, this is a trend with legs. Here, we break down our rediscovered love for the logo.
Whilst the title of this piece refers to the logo’s return, we must be honest and admit that they never really went away. Forgive us for being contrary, but we’d be doing them a disservice not to address their longevity. Undoubtedly, logos move in and out of popularity, but the Gucci Double G, the Fendi Double F, the iconic Saint Laurent monogram – these are the abiding icons of high fashion, and their power has never wavered. Fashion is cyclical, and during the times when we’ve opted for minimalism over flash, the logo has, naturally and with grace, taken its place amongst the shadows. But it always returns, and this time the logo is back louder, prouder and more imaginatively than ever – a great antidote to the post-recession minimalism we were dealing with for what seemed like a very long time.
Whilst we’re not about to write an essay on branding, the strength of a logo lies in its memorability, and the ones we’ve mentioned, even in their darkest times, remain fixed in the collective fashion memory and can be recalled on demand. That’s not to say that they haven’t had some very dark times. The early ‘00s is a prime example of this, although now we’ve had some distance and a long period during which to reflect (and feel shame), even the trashy celeb associations of then can now be appreciated for what they were – iconic, if a little tasteless, moments in the history of fashion.
Ultimately, logos are fun, and once again, we’ve realised and are appreciating their style strengths – as markers of our excellent taste and as a means of signalling our fashion credentials to others. As a tool for identifying ourselves as part of a particular style tribe whilst also being a way to distinguish ourselves from others. Equally, they allow us to align ourselves with the aesthetic and values of the brand we have chosen to wear (splashed across our ripped chests). We are in the midst of a logo frenzy, and when you take all of the above into account, it’s clear why.
Within the arena of modern high fashion, the logo is not what it was. Gone are the days of a bog-standard icon. Every mega brand from LA to Milan is mining the depths of their logo archives, reinterpreting them, reimagining them, cutting them up and sticking them back on. The manner in which this is executed ranges from straight-up logo worship to ironic, amusing, nostalgic and subversive approaches. Gucci’s ‘Fake’ logo Tees are a case in point – creative director Alessandro Michele took the house’s sacred codes and reinterpreted them as the real thing crusading as a knock-off, a tongue-in-cheek comment on the status of branding and so meta it nearly blew our minds.
And therein lies their modern-day appeal. Something that became so passé has become cool again, re-entering the style zeitgeist from the upmost echelons of fashion. Looking back on the logo’s storied history, it’s defining moments are part of what make it covetable now (velour tracksuits aside). Think Versace’s pioneering first version of the designer logo Tee, a seminal moment in the logo’s story and its first spotlight moment on the luxury fashion stage. But it’s their clever reincarnations and, most importantly, their bold visual appeal that have us glued to them. Mark yourself out as an in-the-know fashion insider with context and slick styling. It’s all in the name.