Designer logos are nothing new in fashion, per se. Their popularity waxes and wanes with the times, but they're an undeniable pillar of brand recognition—one that can be even weightier than a signature design aesthetic. They alert the masses: “This is our brand—make no mistake." And as of late, it seems labels are beginning to truly embrace them once again.
In recent memory, the Benetton rugby and Esprit sweatshirt of the '80s gave way to Stussy's logo-splashed streetwear in the '90s, and the emblem craze continued to intensify in the early 2000s—at its height came the unmistakable, highly coveted and colorful Louis Vuitton Murakami print, not to mention the interlocking Gs and Cs of Gucci and Coach accessories and, for the kids, a must-have moose silhouette plastered on Abercrombie & Fitch merchandise. The list goes on and on but you get the picture: logos were everywhere.
Saturation finally hit a few years later, aligned with signs of economic downturn, and the trend began to feel passé. A shift toward an understated, label-free approach took over. Minimalist lines such as Céline and The Row set the pace for the modern aesthete’s wardrobe—simple, refined pieces indistinguishable (except, of course, to the eye of a discerning fashion person) without a glaring designer stamp in sight. Then came normcore, then athleisure, which brings us to today, and the logo beast is once again rearing its head.
The current gravitation toward sportswear naturally lends itself to logo-friendly items: A classic reference making a serious comeback is Tommy Hilfiger. The American heritage brand just launched a reissue of its iconic styles featuring the signature red, white and blue logo, modeled by a crop of today's most in-demand It girls including Gigi Hadid and Suki Waterhouse. Also see the resurgence of Calvin Klein’s branded underwear, which went viral in a #MyCalvins social media campaign thanks to participants Kendall Jenner and Chiara Ferragni. And Kenzo’s graphic-front pullovers have become a street-style staple among industry darlings—their trendy status has undeniably rejuvenated the brand’s mainstream presence.
But it’s not just athletic-inspired separates experiencing the revival: Riccardo Tisci has introduced subtle logo play onto allover patterned suits and dresses in his recent Givenchy collections. We anticipate this to be the next wave of integrating a brand's stamp onto its pieces in a big way—and one other designers might be smart to adopt. Whatever comes next, one thing's for sure: What comes around goes around, and logos in fashion will never truly die.
Savvy and cool or tacky and dated? Tell us what you think about the latest logo comeback in the comments below.
Homepage image: Courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger