How Designer Logomania Asserted Its Place in Fashion History

The roots of the logomania trend began sprouting in the excess of the 1980s, and it was during the following decade that logomania truly thrived, being a sartorial response to the economic boom of the United States in the 1990s. Initially, branding found its place in the fashion world as a means to signify status and wealth. While the latter remains relevant, the logomania trend has also become an aesthetic trope, with Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior logos adorned on It bags and spread across sweaters, swimwear, and other apparel.

Post-recession, wearing labels in such an overt manner waned, with some referring to the trend as tacky and cliché. In recent years, however, the desire for logos returned with a vengeance to secure its place in fashion history as more than an obnoxious symbol of prosperity.


History of Logomania

Continue reading for more facts about the early beginnings, rise, fall, and regained popularity of designer logomania.


Who Made Logomania Popular?

David Marchese of the New York Times revealed that it was the music industry, specifically ‘80s and early ‘90s hip-hop, that made logomania as beloved as it is today among luxury consumers. The creative genius responsible for popularizing the aesthetic trope was none other than Dapper Dan, a.k.a. Daniel Day, a designer and haberdasher from Harlem, New York.

During the early 1980s on 125th Street, Day began screen-printing the logos of high-end brands ranging from Gucci, Fendi, and Louis Vuitton on leather goods. Instead of “knockoffs,” he called his pieces “knock-ups.” According to The New Yorker, Day and his clients saw the logo-covered merchandise as paying tribute to the luxury fashion houses.


LV: The Most Popular Logomania Designer Brand

Louis Vuitton was founded in the City of Love in 1854. The label’s namesake discovered how to create trunks that were airtight, lightweight, stackable, durable, and sophisticated. It was out of branding that Vuitton included his logo on the trunks’ canvas, as several other businesses began copying his creations.

What was originally a way to distinguish one product from another has become a profitable tool for luxury fashion houses to establish and represent their brand. Some might say a logo is a mere symbol of status; an indicator of financial success. But many others have a more nuanced opinion on designer logos.

Branding and trademarking are as fundamental as the designs themselves. When we look at a Louis Vuitton handbag, for example, it’s no longer just the handbag (the materials, design, and overall craftsmanship) that motivates us to purchase, but also the feelings and associations that these luxurious works of art induce in us. Each logo has a rich and beautiful history. When we come across a logo, we remember where we’ve seen it before; we recall the high-profile celebrities who carried the purse and the Hollywood movies that showcased the bag – all in which these leather goods came alive. Logos remind us of a brand, which aspires to tell a story of the experience the label has to offer.


History of Initials in Designer Logos

In 1925, Mademoiselle Coco Chanel reinvented her brand by doing something that was, during the time, innovative and revolutionary: she added her name and initials to her clothes. Using two interlocking “Cs,” the fashion designer produced an enduring insignia that remains relevant and recognizable throughout the world. Similar to Claude Monet’s famous name scrawled on the bottom left corner of his famous Water Lilies, something about Chanel’s logo derived from her own initials permeated charm and allure into her garments. Since then, the logo has served as a symbol of status, wealth, and belonging for generations of designer consumers.

However, some were late to the trend. For instance, the iconic Gucci logo featuring interlocking, mirrored G’s did not debut until the 1960s, more than four decades after the brand’s founding.


Discreet Styling of Logomania

When logo-covered designer handbags became popular in the early 90s, they were rarely paired with another monogrammed clothing or accessory, and logos on accessories were subtle to add a small and elegant (never overwhelming) touch to one’s overall look.


Rise of New Fashion Houses Contributed to the Logomania Hype

The financial boom of the 1980s resulted in an increased interest in high-end everything. Thus came a propagation of new high-fashion houses, including Ralph Lauren, Christian Lacroix, and Calvin Klein, as well as audacious, “in-your-face,” unapologetic displays of wealth and luxury. As a result, logomania erupted in the late 1990s and early 2000s, making logos the complete focus of an outfit instead of being a final touch of elegance. For the first time, men and women wore designer logos from head to toe, sometimes even from undies to outerwear.


The 2007 Recession’s Effect on Logomania and Luxury Brands

In fashion, the one upside of the recession in 2007 was that designers took a detour from what had become a gaudy showcase that buried true style in a bewildering bombardment of crossed initials. More minimalist, simple designs regained complete control until a decade later.


Logomania’s Comeback in 2018 and Beyond

Since most trends come and go and return, it’s not surprising that logomania has graced our presence once again – this time with a vengeance. From Goyard and Fendi to Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton, designer logos on bags, garments, and even phone cases are more popular than ever. In 2018, the word “logomania” alone had a 203% increase in searches. The Louis Vuitton Multi-Pochette in Monogram and Dior Oblique Saddle Bag are some of the best-selling bags in recent years, proving that the logomania trend is here to stay.

Logos encapsulate the essence and ideals of a brand. When we carry a handbag bearing a logo, it reveals something about our character and personality. Following the logo trend is the clearest way to communicate a small or large part of our status and identity, which is one of the reasons why bags with logos continue to dominate the fashion scene.


Are You Tired of Your Logo-Covered Bag?

Growing tired of trends is normal. What you once thought was the best thing ever could now be something you can no longer look at. Whether it’s a logo-embellished bag or a piece of jewelry that screams CC, CD, LV, or GG, if you’re done with this trend, look no further than Biltmore Loan and Jewelry to relieve you from their presence. We are a leading buyer of designer handbags, jewelry, and more in Scottsdale-Chandler, AZ. If you’re not ready to sell, you also have the option to use your luxury items as collateral for a loan. Get an appraisal now.