In an effort to expand beyond traditional brand collaborations, Gucci and Balenciaga “hacked each other’s collections” earlier this year. This hacking was evident in the many ways that designers Alessandro Michele, Demna embedded each brand’s DNA onto the other. It was mostly about the logos.
Imagine: Balenciaga’s “Hourglass” bags featuring Gucci monogram prints, a bedazzled jacket-and-skirt combination with the brands logos.
Logomania was a dominant theme in fashion discourse during the mid-2010s. However, Gucci x Balenciaga’s partnership and other retail collaborations confirmed its 2.0 version. The era of logomania is over. Brands will now merge their names onto garments and accessories rather than just combining aesthetics.
For example, Gucci x The North Face’s January 2021 collaboration. The collection featured puffer jackets and backpacks as well as quilted skirts. It also included full-fledged logos and monogrammed prints. Fendi x Skims was released in November. This collaboration was probably not on your 2021 Bingo card. It also featured logo mashups that created a unique print on bodysuits.
fendi x versace
Fendi was already pushing the logomania 2.0 agenda before partnering with Skims. Fendace was the result of the fusion of Versace and Fendi (or Verdi, Fensace – the possibilities are endless!). Although this was an experimental release that featured cross-pollination between designers Kim Jones, Donatella Versace, there were also some simple logo-swapping. You can see the evidence in the Fendi double F and Versace gold font belts, as well as the Versace logo of 1980s that had double Fs, instead of nods at Greek mythology.
Logomania has been a part of fashion over the years in many different forms. Dapper Dan printed copies of luxury monograms presented by established labels, prompting Gucci and Fendi in the 1980s to file lawsuits and send cease and desist letters.
Houses like Vetements and Moschino began borrowing logos from other companies in the 2010s as a comment on consumer culture. There were T-shirts with Vetements DHL logos and accessories featuring the M-logo inspired by McDonald’s from Moschino.
Streetwear was then a part of the luxury zeitgeist. 2017 saw the collaboration of Supreme and Louis Vuitton on a collection that featured both Supreme and LV logos. Gucci’s 2017 cruise collection included a jacket that referred to the famous Dapper Dan number originally created for Olympian Diane Dixon. After the brand was accused of not crediting Harlem designer, Gucci partnered up with Dapper Dan to reopen his New York shop and launch a fashion collaboration.
Logomania is a descendant of the extravagant fashions of the 1980s and early 1990s. It was considered one of the trends that would be left out of the Before Times because of its extravagant display of wealth and luxury. Data suggests that logomania’s newest iteration has been a huge success. Let’s take, for instance, the collaboration between Telfar and Ugg, first announced in 2020. Global fashion platform Lyst reports that demand for Ugg and Telfar rose by more than 200% following the drop of the collection in July 2021.
In the two months that followed the launch of the collection, Gucci’s and Balenciaga’s runway “hack” received more than 5,000 daily searches via Lyst. Logomania 2.0 was also featured in one of the most successful sneaker releases this year. Bad Bunny and Adidas collaborated on a three-model drop that featured both the Bad Bunny eye logo and the Adidas striped stamp on the brand’s “Forum” style. After the video of “Yonaguni”, the reggaeton singer wore them, the collaboration drove a 125% increase in Lyst searches.
It is understandable that logomania would not only keep its power, but also come back stronger during the pandemic. 2021’s fashion story has brought back some of the most exciting periods of fashion, such as the 1980s and 2000s. These include micro-mini skirts and low-rise jeans. Due to TikTok’s emphasis on thrifting and the resale boom, there has been a renewed interest for luxury monogrammed vintage accessories. Since 2020, models like the Fendi monogram “Baguette,” the Gucci monogram “Jackie” bag and Louis Vuitton’s monogram “Pochette” have been popular on Tradesy and The RealReal.
Logomania 2.0 uses fashion to make people happier and more wealthy. It’s at least possible to look it.