A very interesting article on the return of logos and branding to everyday clothing…what does the logo culture come-back say about American consumers, and what does it mean for designers?…The article suggests that return of branded, or logo-plastered clothing signals a waning of the anti-capitalist movement seen in the 1990’s amongst consumers. However, judging by pieces displayed in the photo slideshow and my own observation of the rise of the hipster culture, the desire to buy and wear t-shirts and jackets baring the names, logos, and symbols of prominent American brands may stem from the desire to mock these companies and protest consumerism.
Either way, these items are rising in popularity and becoming more of a commonplace in everyday stores like H&M, Macy’s, and Nordstrom.
To accommodate the demand for logo-clad garments, designers have been forced to create and apply branding that can be displayed on their products in places other than the tags, buttons, or zippers. For some designers this practice has been embedded in their brand. Several major designers including Louis Vuitton, Coach, Armani, and Burberry have been covering nearly every square inch of their leather goods with their famous branding for decades. However, other designers who are not accustomed to treating their customers like billboards understandably feel reluctant to succumb to the demands of the logo trend. What are the consequences of succumbing (or not) to brand plastering and self-promotion?
By not succumbing, designers are in a sense rejecting the trend, but this should not be seen as a rejection of capitalism and consumerism. In not succumbing, designers may garner increased support and patronage from their current client base. On the downside, they may, if only briefly, lose a portion of their current base who opt for logo-clad brands. They also lose out on the easy opportunity to self-promote and advertise.
By succumbing, designers may send the message that they care more about revenue and consumer trends than they do about maintaining their aesthetic and artistic foundation. However, on the upside they will likely expand their customer base and enjoy increased sales and recognition that comes from having a logo that is advertised everywhere.
Personally? I would rather see a designer stick to their aesthetic, and not feel like they have to plaster their branding on each and every product just to receive notoriety and recognition among consumers.