Earlier this year, Gucci and Balenciaga “hacked” each other’s collections in an attempt to push beyond the boundaries of conventional brand collaborations. This hacking was manifested in the many ways Demna and Alessandro Michele embedded each brand’s DNA onto one another. It was mostly about the logos. Imagine: Balenciaga’s “Hourglass” bags featuring Gucci monogram prints, a bedazzled jacket-and-skirt combination with the logos of all the brands (pictured left).
While logomania was a reigning presence in the mid-2010s fashion discourse, the Gucci x Balenciaga partnership, along with other runway and retail collaborations, confirmed the arrival of its 2.0 version. The era of “double the logos, twice the excess” is here. Brands will merge their names onto garments and accessories rather than just combining aesthetics.
For example, take the collaboration between Gucci x The North Face in January 2021. The collection was filled with puffer jackets and backpacks as well as quilted skirts. It also featured monogrammed prints, full-fledged logos and full-fledged designs. There was also the November release of Fendi x Skims. This collaboration was something we bet wasn’t on your 2021 bingo cards. It used logo mashups in order to create a unique print that was displayed on bodysuits as well as underwear.
Fendi was already pushing the logomania 2.0 agenda before partnering with Skims. The latter merged with another designer heavy-hitter, Versace, on the runway during Fashion Month with the release of Fendace Or Verdi, Fensace – the possibilities are endless! This release featured a lot of logo-swapping, as well as experimental design cross-pollination by designers Kim Jones and Donatella Verdi. Look at the Fendi double F and Versace gold font belts. Or the Versace ’80s logo with double Fs, instead of nods in Greek mythology.
Logomania has been a part of fashion over the years in many different forms. Dapper Dan, who printed versions of the luxury monograms put forth by established labels (prompting houses like Gucci and Fendi to send cease and desist letters and file lawsuits against him in the 1980s) represented one era. Houses like Vetements and Moschino began borrowing logos from other companies in the 2000s 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 a popular choice for luxury, following the lead of Dapper Dan’s designs. Louis Vuitton and Supreme collaborated on a 2017 collection. The jacket featured in Gucci’s cruise collection was a nod to a famous Dapper Dan number that was originally created for Olympian Diane Dixon. After the brand was accused of not crediting Harlem designer, Gucci partnered with Dapper Dan in order to reopen his New York shop and create a fashion collaboration.
Logomania is a product of the extravagant fashion of the 1980s and early 1990s. It was also referred to earlier in the pandemic as one the trends that would be left behind in the Before Times because of its excessive wealth and display of luxury. Data suggests that logomania’s newest iteration has been a huge success. For example, Telfar’s and Uggs’ collaboration was announced for the first time in 2020. Global fashion platform Lyst claims 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 trending 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.