PurseBlog Asks

Would You Carry a Recognizable Purse?

Or is incognito more your jam?

GGs, LVs, FFs, or MKs – do you fancy any of them?

That’s a question we’ve dealt with here in the PurseBlog community quite extensively. And earlier this year, I myself was (and right now, is again) enamored with Gucci’s interlocking G’s. A skeptic might think that my tastes would have evolved within the past eleven months. And truth be told, they have, in fact, shown signs of, well, growth. Can it be called maturity? My obsessions ran in favor of more simplistic, leather-focused silhouettes like the Chloé Marcie and the Proenza Schouler PS1. As the temperature drops and the festive season springs upon us, however, I find my love for most types of monograms returning with a vengeance.

But coated canvas and lightweight purses (the configuration that most all-over-logo purses usually have) isn’t exactly a winter staple, so why am I suddenly seeing a resurgence of monograms everywhere? Is logomania a phase, as opposed to a trend, that pops up every year? Or is it just that this was the time my bag-addict soul decided was most opportune to develop an (unhealthy) inclination towards logos? Most importantly, are logos even “in” right now? I decided that it was time for a more thorough investigation.

Are Logos in Right Now?

Except for Chanel’s looping C’s, most well-known logo bags began as luggage. That’s how, in fact, the names of these designers traveled across the world and gained widespread popularity, whether it be Georges Louis Vuitton’s hard-shelled trunks or Aldo Gucci’s softer, Savoy Hotel-inspired travel bags, all of which later shrunk into the purses (and mini-purses) we see today. But this isn’t about the history of monogrammed handbags; rather, what determines your decision to carry one in the first place. Yes, a lot of it can be chalked up to just personal style, but it’s actually so much more when you think about it.

Luxury purses have always been a status symbol of sorts, an easy, although by no means cheap, way to get access to the world of the wealthy at a cost less than that of, say, a private jet, yacht, or a Ferrari. So when you choose to spend so much more than the global average on a purse, it’s natural that you might want to make sure it’s recognizable. And what could be a better way to ensure that than to purchase a logo handbag, right? That is what the luxury logo-purse market has capitalized on – whether it be Louis Vuitton in the US or Michael Kors in South Asia. The aspirational status of a monogrammed handbag far exceeds its position as “just a purse” and may become something that the user’s sense of self-worth may be tied to. Therefore, even if not the trend of the season front and center, logo bags are still likely to retain their share of the market for the foreseeable future.

The Case for Logos

Secondly, functionality is a factor that makes a strong case for monogrammed purses. As mentioned before, most logo handbags tend to be coated canvas or an equally durable fabric that’s lightweight, often waterproof, and convenient. So, even if it doesn’t quite correspond to the now-obsolete argument that “if it isn’t leather, it shouldn’t cost so much,” it accounts for a pretty low cost-per-wear with a trio of quality chic and practicality to boot. That doesn’t mean, though, that you can’t have the same without the logos: there’s Damier Ebene from Louis Vuitton if Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas isn’t your style (though it’s just as recognizable).

But what I believe is the biggest reason for the resurgence of logomania right now is the trend towards the past – more specifically, the 90s and the early 2000s, the peak of the Y2K era. Arguably this period of logomania, both in classic and in limited edition multicolor/exotic colorways, is driven by the mini bag trend and celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Bella Hadid. All seem to have gotten their hands on one-of-a-kind pieces from a bygone era that are no longer in production, alongside reissues of archival styles from the brands themselves, like the Fendi Baguette, Fendi Croissant, Dior Saddle, Louis Vuitton Pochette, and Gucci Horsebit, which are suddenly in fashion again. So, having a monogrammed purse from these categories is a recognizable nod to this growing trend.

Bella Hadid, Louis Vuitton Croissant Bag

But logo purses aren’t always the only recognizable ones. In fact, recognizability is a subjective scale that varies between people and places. In NYC, a PS1 or a Balenciaga could be well-known to most, especially on the more fashionable avenues. In smaller towns, on the contrary, even an in-your-face Louis Vuitton Neverfull in Monogram canvas may be an unfamiliar sight. So depending on your surroundings, you might be able to pull off anything from a Gucci Ophidia to a Birkin if you’re looking for the quality but don’t want your purse to garner undue attention.

Speaking of surroundings, another major determinant in the scale of recognizability is your workplace etiquette. A Goyard St. Louis may be deemed too showy for some. Still, if everybody at your office is carrying a Neverfull, Goyard’s chevron might be a pleasant departure from the commonalities or even be mostly unrecognizable. Then again, if you’re working in an extremely corporate, suit-and-tie environment, a floppy monogram tote mightn’t be a suitable choice, not just because it might be considered tacky but also because its casualness would be incongruous to the general ambiance.

So, what about you? Would you rather be dead than caught carrying a logo purse (I’ve been there, and back!), would you like a more understated but still recognizable carry like the SDJ or Louis Vuitton’s Empreinte, or do you like to go all-out, allover logo everything?

As for me, I’ve developed a love towards Louis Vuitton’s vintage Pochettes (have you ever seen the perforated one?), as well as a newfound appreciation for vintage Fendi Zucca Baguette/Croissant equivalents from the 90s. Yes, I’ve found the Fendi at last that makes my heart sing! And even though I’ll still probably carry my PS1 and less recognizable bags, that doesn’t mean I’ll stop ogling all the logos I like.


Leave a Comment

  1. Michelle Avatar

    I see the LV Neverfull so much around town and at work that I had to retire mine for a spell. It’s definitely the bag of choice in the Virginia suburbs.

    1. Sajid Bin Mohammad Avatar
      Sajid Bin Mohammad

      It is indeed pretty ubiquitous, maybe you might try opting for one of the more limited edition NFs (like the Stephen Sprouse Graffiti) so it stands out?

    2. JaimeG Avatar

      Bag of choice in Scottsdale/Phoenix too. I had to put it in the dust bag for a few years.

      1. Sajid Bin Mohammad Avatar
        Sajid Bin Mohammad

        It is really disheartening when you see that a bag you’ve spent some big bucks on is so ubiquitous.

      2. Slim Avatar

        I did the same. Bought mine about 5 years in Paris when I see the fakes around in droves it angers me. I put mine in storage as well.

  2. Sandy Avatar

    Yes, I very much like my LV monogram canvas bags. They are durable and useful (Neverfull) and my Palm Springs mini is so cute. I like/carry many brands logo or no.

    1. Sajid Bin Mohammad Avatar
      Sajid Bin Mohammad

      And they come in so many different shapes and sizes too, whether it be mini, maxi or anywhere in between!

  3. Thefashionableteacher Avatar

    For those in the know, the Birkin is recognizable with no logos. I work with people who wouldn’t know Gucci from Pucci,

    I carry logo bags. Wear logo clothing. However, I don’t wear it just because it’s recognizable. I wear it because I like it and it fits my style.

    I will say this, I’ve never been a fan of the LV monogram. I can’t quite put my finger on it. I’ll figure it out some day.

    1. Sajid Bin Mohammad Avatar
      Sajid Bin Mohammad

      Indeed, I too feel that a little bit of monogram spruces up an outfit and of course, there’s that scale of recognisability depending on situations.
      About the LV monogram, there are various versions for you to experiment with though…

    2. Cat Avatar

      I totally agree that even bags that don’t future obvious monograms or logos are still designed and marketed to be recognizable. The Birkin is an excellent example. People who know bags and fashion will recognize it instantly.

      1. Cat Avatar


      2. Sajid Bin Mohammad Avatar
        Sajid Bin Mohammad

        It’s an interesting point, especially from the marketing perspective. Is the primary determinant of a bag’s recognisability how many people who are into fashion are in the vicinity?

  4. Katie Avatar

    I tend towards more subtle bags, though I do have a Gucci Soho Disco for when I feel a little more “showy.” My favorite bags in my collection (especially for work) include my Mulberry zipped bayswater, Smythson business bag, and Mansur Gavriel small tote. I’ve been thinking I want to add another more recognizable bag to my collection.

    1. Sajid Bin Mohammad Avatar
      Sajid Bin Mohammad

      I think opting for a slightly more under-the-radar logo bag might do the trick, something that isn’t instantly recognisable, like perhaps the Ferragamo Gancini or Goyard?

      1. Seagreen Avatar

        Second the Ferragamo! The quality is fantastic and their bags are more under the radar, at least here in the U.S.

      2. Sajid Bin Mohammad Avatar
        Sajid Bin Mohammad

        Indeed, and I’m loving their new direction with more emphasis on the Gancini logo too. I just feel like, possibly except Hermès (and even then, their non-recognisable bags are rather unexciting), just having all under-the-radar bags quickly get tedious. Think old BV, so the new Ferragamo feels a lot fresher, with the quality to boot.

  5. J B Avatar
    J B

    I really only like LV as far as obvious logo because it’s part of the cachet of the brand but I don’t carry the larger bags for work functions where I have colleagues present because it’s so iconic and tied to $$$. I love the logo but at the same time dislike the focus on my bag. Lol. I do use smaller accessories tho. I save the bags for going out, running errands or appts.

    1. Sajid Bin Mohammad Avatar
      Sajid Bin Mohammad

      I agree, while for bigger bags like the Speedy or Neverfull I’d prefer the more limited edition versions or the colorful epi, the Pochettes I think look best in various editions of the monogram (especially the vintage ones!)

    2. Azure5 Avatar

      Yes but the whole palaver of downsizing from a big bag to small, missing something, like your travel pass, or sunscreen…it’s a hassle.
      So I tend to just focus on one bag for a while, and another for another while. For certain purposes.
      Perhaps I will use those bag inserts, easier to move from one bag to another.
      Or just get better at casting aside inessentials.
      We do tend to go for smaller bags now with more at home work.

  6. TinyB Avatar

    I carry what I think is cute regardless of it being deemed as “too logo-y” or not classy enough by other people. Suppressing myself in fear of other opinions was never how aspire to be

    1. Sajid Bin Mohammad Avatar
      Sajid Bin Mohammad

      Kudos to you – I truly hope to follow your footsteps!

  7. bir Avatar

    i hate logos LOL I’m thinking of having my louis theda recolored like all brown loose the LV and now im wearing Hermes plumes and bolides they are really almost invisible so …….. just her to say i really don’t love logos………

    1. Sajid Bin Mohammad Avatar
      Sajid Bin Mohammad

      That’s absolutely understandable, and Plumes and Bolides (and possibly the Theda you plan to recolor) are all recognisable amongst handbag-lovers so that’s a great way to find out like-minded people, I must say!

  8. Tiffany Avatar

    I don’t objectively dislike logos. I just don’t like the attention I get when I wear them, honestly.

    1. Sajid Bin Mohammad Avatar
      Sajid Bin Mohammad

      I can imagine, especially if you’re in an area where people might be more prone to recognising them.

  9. Sarah Avatar

    For me, it has nothing to do with status and everything to do with how much I like or dislike the pattern/emblem. As an artist who works with text daily, I have strong feelings about letterforms etc I find appealing. I love the classic LV pattern (not so much the brown-on-brown, which is why I love the men’s collection) because of its delicate serifs and flowers, it becomes more pattern than logo. (I like the giant mono less because it loses its intricacy.) However, I can’t stand the Coach monogram, because the Cs to me look like Wide Latin font available free on every pc, like someone took a C and just stretched it without accounting for proportion. The Valentino V I similarly dislike… so the aesthetics of the pattern and logo are important to me.

    1. Sajid Bin Mohammad Avatar
      Sajid Bin Mohammad

      OHMYGOSH I can actually relate – I make a lot of PowerPoint presentations in university and I stick to a set of certain fonts, so much that if somebody changes one of them it literally (and unconsciously) becomes a point of irritation for me, although I can never instantly identify what exactly went wrong there. And now that you point out the fonts for Coach and Valentino, I think I won’t ever be able to unsee them!

  10. Shopper Avatar

    Isn’t this why we are here?

    1. Sajid Bin Mohammad Avatar
      Sajid Bin Mohammad


  11. AsianPride Avatar

    Well I counter that I love the LV logo for example but being Asian we get stigmatised if carrying too much logo…

    1. Sajid Bin Mohammad Avatar
      Sajid Bin Mohammad

      Wait really? That’s intriguing. As far as I’ve seen though, women here carrying logo handbags (sometimes even obvious fakes, and MK seems to be of preference) and similarly expensive-looking purses seem to be treated with special deference as opposed to women carrying under-the-radar originals.

      1. AsianPride Avatar

        Yes, for sure. This is my lived experience. I feel judged when wearing certain logos, and even though I love certain logo looks eg. lv Men’s collections, I have to second guess myself on whether I’d buy… it’s really sad as the collections are so beautiful and i hate that the public would reduce me to my race.

        I agree with you though that it can depend on which part of the world. Great article btw, it was fun and thought-provoking 🙂 I liked the commentary on typography and preference for brands as a result!

      2. Sajid Bin Mohammad Avatar
        Sajid Bin Mohammad

        Indeed, that was a really unexpected, but in hindsight, quite literal, take on the matter. And I hope you have the opportunity to carry your favorite logos judgment-free soon!

      3. AsianPride Avatar

        Thanks Sajid! Also I beg your pardon, I just learnt you are in Bangladesh- that is AWESOME and I understand now why your perspective on my view re: being Asian carrying logos was different! (I know nothing about life in Bangladesh btw- am really glad you’re on Purseblog! Love your articles, and congrats on your metallic Burberry- it is a great find!) I’m writing from a Western country where Asians are a minority, and there was a lot of stigma with the boom in Chinese luxury shopping. I hope that brings more perspective. I am starting to feel more adjusted here. Let’s rock those logo bags!!

      4. Sajid Bin Mohammad Avatar
        Sajid Bin Mohammad

        Thank you so much AsianPride – proud to be Asian indeed 🙂 And thank you especially for providing the valuable insight about Western stereotypes on Asians & luxury bags (especially recognisable/logo-y ones). I can understand why you might feel uncomfortable, and I’m really glad you’re getting more comfortable carrying them – congratulations and godspeed!

  12. Terri Avatar

    I would never be caught dead in logo stuff and I do not judge others for wearing them. To each his own!
    I custom order bags instead. Only 1 in the world.

    1. Sajid Bin Mohammad Avatar
      Sajid Bin Mohammad

      Oh wow, that’s really bespoke!

  13. Gwen Avatar

    I bought a beautiful Christian Dior Bobby bag with a monogram strap and was looking forward to wearing it on an upcoming trip to Chicago. Then I found out that the Dior store there was the victim of a smash and grab and decided that I better wear my The Row drum bag from 2015 instead because nobody knows what it is. I felt I might not be safe carrying a recognizable bag.

    1. Sajid Bin Mohammad Avatar
      Sajid Bin Mohammad

      Oh no, that’s truly unfortunate!

  14. Jame Ervin Avatar
    Jame Ervin

    I don’t like bags where the logo is the star. I don’t mind a clever take on a logo or symbol. I have a Coach bag from several years ago where the chain links are the Coach Cs. Very clever. I used to have a quilted Kate Spade bag where the quilting was the bow that was a signature for the brand at the time.

    1. Sajid Bin Mohammad Avatar
      Sajid Bin Mohammad

      Oh wow, which Coach was it? Sounds fascinating and unique!

      1. Jame Ervin Avatar
        Jame Ervin

        Yay! I remembered and found a review video. It was the Swagger Chain Shoulder Bag.

        This is the exact version I have in the video, but I remember several finishes with smooth leather, snake, and suede. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Wt4QZfod6tU

      2. Sajid Bin Mohammad Avatar
        Sajid Bin Mohammad

        OHMYGOSH this is possibly one of the prettiest Coaches I have ever laid my eyes upon, and yes, I see the chain link C’s but it won’t be obvious at all to anybody who wouldn’t know or wouldn’t observe carefully. Congratulations on this fantastic purchase!

  15. Aduke Avatar

    Logos are a behemoth NO for me. That’s one of the reasons I never fancy Gucci, LV, Fendi and other brands self-same. I’m a simple person with an uncomplicated set of preferences. I consider these brands overwrought.