What comes to mind when you think of luxury fashion? Most likely images of designer logos printed onto t-shirts, sweatpants, sneakers, or bags, worn by celebrities or influencers appear. Perhaps you even own a few branded garments yourself. While logos seem to be the hallmark of luxury, they are just marketing scams used by designers to sell and advertise their clothes, and sadly, they symbolize the wealth of whoever is wearing it.
The first notable instance of a major luxury brand using logos or monograms on their products was Louis Vuitton in 1896. George Vuitton, Louis Vuitton’s son, used the now-famous checked monogram on a line of trunks in order to prevent counterfeits. But now, logos are used to spread awareness of a brand. In order for a logo to be successful, it needs to be easily identifiable and memorable. This means that when people wear clothes with large logos, other people might recognize it and buy the product, further exposing the brand and repeating the cycle. In essence, logos are part of a free advertising system for brands.
When one thinks of designer logos, the Louis Vuitton monogram, the Gucci double G logo, or the Chanel double Cs are probably what first come to mind. All three of these logos are unique, simple, and easily identifiable, making them perfect for marketing. Celebrities are often used as a vessel for this marketing. Brands partner with celebrities and pay them huge sums of money to wear their clothes. Billie Eilish is a poster child of this phenomenon; the Gucci monogram has become associated with her signature style. Since so many people look to Billie Eilish on a regular basis, they feel inspired to begin buying from the brands that she is wearing. This happens with almost any big luxury brand you can think of, and there are countless examples here at Andover. If you look around on campus you’ll see hordes of Chanel, Golden Goose, Gucci white sneakers, Moncler jackets, Hermes, Ferragamo, Gucci belts, Louis Vuitton purses…the list goes on.
While the tremendous popularity of branded items suggests that most people love them, I hate them for a multitude of reasons. When designers just slap logos on all their clothes, they know that the logo is desirable and going to sell the garment, and therefore they can just be lazy in their actual design of the garment. If white sneakers with a logo slapped on them will sell, why bother designing an original pair of shoes? The worst part isn’t even that designers do this, it’s that people buy it. People spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on tasteless clothes to flaunt status and wealth, and that same garment could be found for a fifth of the price elsewhere if there wasn’t a logo printed on. If somebody really wants to come off as someone who knows fashion, money is much better spent on interesting, lesser-known designers, or at least pieces that speak for themselves instead of letting a logo tell the viewer it’s expensive. It is also worth mentioning that one can easily be chic without dropping tons of money on designer pieces. Thrift stores are the ultimate treasure trove for wardrobes on a budget, offering affordable but one of a kind pieces. Designer consignment can also offer vintage, unique pieces that are affordable and more interesting than most current pieces, which are typically as engaging as starting at a blank wall.
Ultimately, logos are a cheap and lazy means of designing or wearing clothes. They serve as a status symbol to wearers, and advertisements for designers, and it makes me cringe when I see people walking around with their newest monogrammed piece like it’s the best thing since sliced bread.