“Look at all that Louis Vuttion…” a client at my day job recently remarked to me as she shoved her blue Chloé Marcie into one of the remaining cubbies of the small gym I manage on the weekends. “…they’re all fabulous but those prints are a bit much.”
Running the front desk of a boutique fitness studio has its perks, one of which being that I get to study the handbag habits of the super stylish and ultra accomplished women that constantly parade in and out. On the flip side, it also means that I get to hear the diverse viewpoints of those same women who, hidden behind sunglasses and required protective face mask, are sometimes are only discernible by their combination of an expensive haircut and choice of designer bag. Balenciaga City bag? Hello Sarah. Valentino Rockstud tote? Welcome in, Amy. YSL camera bag? So nice to see you again, Michelle. *
Whether I am perched at the front desk, watching luxury Youtubers, or simply lurking around various fashion forums, I really do hear it all: XYZ logo/monogram is pretentious, vulgar, tacky, fashionable, chic, or perhaps totally in-vogue.
No matter how one may feel about visible logos and monogram prints on their stuff, I’ve come to learn that there is nothing that causes more debate in the high-end fashion community than if visible logos are considered hot or not.
There are a few common things I hear from those on both sides of the spectrum:
“Wearing designer items with logos or a monogram print is gauche and makes the wearer look like a show-off.”
“Bags and garments without logos are more elegant and wearing them proves you actually like the quality, not just the status that comes along with the brand.”
“Minimalist bags are boring and lack the pizzazz of high-end fashion.”
“Logos are the brands’ signatures. Why would I spend that much money on something that looks like any other bag?”
“Branded accessories look way cooler and more youthful”
“Wearing logos means the wearer is insecure/has bad taste.”
“Logos make the wearer look like a walking billboard.”
My own preferences aside, I have never been able to grasp the true message behind the blanket statements from those who are either pro or anti-logo. And to be frank, I am usually left with more follow-up questions (that I tend to keep to myself): Does the size of the logo matter? Is a brand’s monogram print acceptable on all things or only on certain things? What about embossed “shadow logos?”
I think that as the fashion world continues to innovate, it consequently creates more of a grey area and makes it hard to truly fall into either camp. It is true that some people enjoy a more classical look while others are all about the fun, exploratory nature of the logo-loving streetwear culture. But keeping my fellow lux-lovers opinions in mind, I have been forced to examine the inconsistencies in my own preferences (I like bags without very visible logos and monogram but I like them on small leather goods) and have recently thought deeper about the pros and cons of rocking visible logos.
- Logos/monograms can give more texture and depth to a piece.
- A recognizable brand logo adds a bit of opulence and can make the wearer feel pretty lavish.
- In some instances, wearing a branded item can help showcase some part of our identity that we want others to see. Much like how a visible Nike check makes one look sporty, the strategic use of a branded designer item can let others know that we want to be seen as glamorous, creative, a #girlboss, etc.
- Visible logos can help display buying power in situations where that might be beneficial to the wearer.
- Logos/monogram prints are already rather attention-grabbing so sometimes it can be hard to match them or they make it too easy to go overboard and can make an outfit look too busy.
- Highly visible logos can draw unwanted attention to the wearer in situations they prefer to not stand out. The downside of displayed buying power.
- Monogram prints go in and out of style. Sometimes over-familiarity can really hurt the brand’s image (Burberry plaid comes to mind.)
This is all probably my usual blah blah blah, but I’m curious to know where you all stand. Do you like big logos and monogram prints or are you more bashful and prefer to be discreet? What do you think when you see a well-recognized monogram or logo? Do you think that they are fitting for some situations and not others? Do you have exceptions to your preferences?
*names were changed for privacy.