Never has the subject of logos been quite so contentious as it has lately. First there was Burberry losing the serif and then there was Celine losing its accent. Furore ensued, and camps became truly divided.
Marine Serre Spring/Summer 2019 show in Paris. Photos by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION.
Because logos have been big in fashion of late. If one’s outfit creator couldn’t be spotted from at least 10 metres away, emblazoned across a chest, sleeve, bag, and more, then it wasn’t being done right. Or so it seemed. Every brand suddenly decided to slogan or logo up its collections – even those who never have before and likely never will again once this logo mania moment is over. Even new-to-the-scene Paris designer Marine Serre has quickly established herself via a logo – a crescent moon that now plentifully adorns her collections and, this time round, prominently printed her name across the pieces too.
Showing off where you shop has become even bigger business. Arguably, one can put that down to Instagram and our ever-increasing showy way of life. Look at me. Look what I’m doing, what I’m eating, what I’m wearing. Couple that with a surge in street and sports style on the catwalks these past three years and that leads us to now. It’s perhaps ironic given that in the surrounding facets of our lives and identities we’re trying our hardest not to label anything, be it sex or gender.
But logos don’t seem to be disappearing. They are, however, morphing. Virgil Abloh played around with the Nike logo for his Spring/Summer 2019 collection, an ongoing collaboration with the sportswear giant; he put it upside down and sideways on leggings and tops. A swoosh sliding down a shin, around the torso; then his own “OFF” logo vividly ticking across a vest or cardigan. In some instances, the former created definition to shadow effect or it gave the impression of movement, all the ticks jangling about perhaps as they would if you were on a run.
Off-White Spring/Summer 2019 show in Paris. Photos by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION.
What makes this particularly interesting is that in a world of social media, the first entry point for any brand is their logo. And for big brands, the homogenisation of the logo brings weight and history to their name. But for brands that don’t need that fashion heritage, a logo update can bring new allure in much the same way as a collaboration – of which we know Abloh is master of. It feels fresh and, in this case, it felt fun too.
But maybe that’s also because of the collection itself. A more sophisticated and fleshed out offering from Abloh that didn’t feel like the same old sports-street hype. There were sweeping skirts and tumbling ruffles to be found here too. In neon acid brights, it was still sporty in domain. The designer had cited track and field as inspiration and even enlisted athletes to walk for him, but it felt like he was exploring new territory and covering new ground. As the main man at the helm of Louis Vuitton menswear, his appointment was in part down to hype. Yet this collection seemed to show a little more from him than just that. If you’ll pardon the pun, he seems to be ticking the right boxes.