It’s clear: we’re loco for logos. Again.
Brands like Vetements, Gucci, and Balenciaga have sent the market into a frenzy, reigniting the kind of logomania that the market hasn’t experienced since the 1990s. This is evident from the leading retailer Net-a-Porter’s AW 2017 sales – their top 10 best selling items for this season were logo T-shirts from Gucci, Ganni, Balenciaga, and Vetements – a far cry from the prevalence of minimalism we have experienced for several seasons now.
Industry experts argue the return of the logo signifies a shift in consumer priority, where, in a social media-driven world, branding matters. Similarly, Tommy Hilfiger argues “It’s [the use of logos] grown even bigger today in our digitally connected world where images and symbols circulate globally in an instant on social media.” How is this trend different from its predecessor? Well, the difference in this round of logo love is it’s done in a much more sophisticated way and it has a sense of irony to it. Furthermore, while this trend is a nod to the original 90s trend it’s also a nod to the infamous counterfeit culture. Speaking to Business of Fashion, Coco Chan, head of womenswear buying at Stylebop.com, said “Taking something démodé, slightly bad taste and making it cool again is part of the fun…. A simple branded T-shirt or hoodie can play with ideas of what’s authentic and what is not. Can you tell the luxury item from its copy? Who’s borrowing from who? And what point does it stop mattering?” she asks.
However, the increase in the demand for these t-shirts from high street labels such as Topshop and Missguided suggests this revival has already reached its saturation point. “The logo didn’t feel particularly new for spring,” said Chan. “Fashion naturally moves in new directions and we try to stay ahead with that fresh energy,” she said. Perhaps this is a fad but, nonetheless, this trend has given us some serious 90s nostalgia.