When Demna Gvasalia, Vetements’s creative director, sent a DHL T-shirt down the runway in 2016, nobody imagined that the logo of a courier company with no fashion relevance would be an instant sell out. Similarly, Alessandro Michele, who debuted his first collection with Gucci in 2015, put the signature GG monogram on belts and loafers, and before you knew it, the collection had sold out. These instances were early indicators of the logo trend that was soon going to enter our wardrobes again.
If you have been staying abreast with the latest adaptation of this ‘90s trend, chances are that your sweatshirts, shirts, sneakers, and accessories have your favorite brand’s logo displayed prominently, because thanks to the OTT style of branding today, being a little éxtra is the new norm. Only last summer, Dior hopped on the bandwagon with its classic 2001 saddlebag with the brand’s logo, Versace paid tribute to Gianni Versace with logo print shirts, Fendi brought the iconic FF logo from 1974 back on its bombers, hoodies, sunglasses, and sneakers, Christopher Bailey revamped Burberry’s ‘80s logo and placed it on sweatshirts and Alexander Wang turned his name into sleek signage– all in all, the luxury market was all about shouting a brand’s identity through its collection.
However, trends don’t exist in isolation, and luxury houses were not the only catalysts for the blow-up of logomania. Last year, Pinterest reported a 200 percent increase in saves for logos, globally. So, what is causing the logo frenzy? Moreover, why now?
Demand for streetwear brands such as Supreme, Champion, and Palace is at an all-time high, thanks to millennials and Gen Z. These brands have been using their iconic logos and motifs on items as basic as hoodies and T-shirts, extending to accessories and sneakers. Naturally, the rise of streetwear, which is both a category and trend in itself, was bound to give birth to flashing logos.
Moreover, in the world of Instagram, where hyper-visuals are given more importance than text, images are at the heart of all that you are doing. To carve a niche for yourself, you need to stand out, and there’s no better way than to use symbols and logos to do so.
Earlier, the perception of logos was very different than what it is today, as many thought that using logos was an act of cheapening clothes. Not anymore, as social media platforms create a space to make a statement, and logos fit right into the picture. You don’t need to search for tags to know the brand, and in this fast-paced world, one is always short of time. The cyclic nature of fashion also brings a sense of nostalgia. Fila, Kappa, and Tommy Hilfiger are all brands that have been known for their logos, right from their inception.
Today, millennials might be embracing the trend, and unknowingly, the older generation is reminiscing about the simpler times of the past. You then have the Kardashians and the Hadid sisters, who have been the first adapters of the logo wave.
For brands, when the silhouettes get simpler, it’s essential to distinguish one from the other. So how do you differentiate something as basic as white T-shirts? You put the brand’s symbol on it and make it unique. The success of the Vetements DHL T-shirt was indicative of the fact that people relate to something when they feel connected; in this case, it was the DHL truck running around in their city. The relatability of it all is what led to a simple T-shirt costing 156 euro, becoming an iconic piece for the brand.
In 2019, there are plenty of fashion houses keeping the logo momentum going. Gucci’s collaboration with fashion designer (and an early originator of logomania) Dapper Dan on a capsule collection is also a testimony to the fact that logomania is here to stay. Virgil Abloh’s spinoff on Nike’s swoosh for Off White is still a rave memory among many. Mass fashion brands like Zara and H&M have plenty of options for buyers looking to dive into the trend. After all, you only fully embrace the ‘90s fashion wave when you give yourself some logo love.