Why is fashion in love with logos again? 

Why is fashion in love with logos again? 

by Ollie Cox
6 min

What’s the deal with logos at the minute? The enemy of quiet luxury is back with vengeance, splurged across billboards and edging its way into campaigns across the fashion zeitgeist. 

Think of a luxury campaign you’ve seen this year, and the chances are it has a logo on it. Bottega Veneta, Louis VuittonBurberryChloéCELINEFENDILOEWE, you name a high-end fashion House, and the chances are, they’ve slapped a logo in there somewhere. 

The most recent label to unleash a “new” logo is Alexander McQueen, who revealed a preview of what is to come ahead of its debut collection under newly appointed Creative Director Seán McGirr. The video campaign captured models against the backdrop of an ancient pine forest, where the imposing forces of nature dwarfed human models donning chrome skull masks, a longtime motif of the House and a reminder of humankind’s mortality against the artificiality of the catwalk. 

This wasn’t the only archival graphic deployed in the campaign. The brand also revived the original McQueen logo, which was retired in 2018. It sees a custom serif font used to spell the name of the brand, housing the small “C” inside of the “Q.” The logo aligns with McQueen’s original blend of subversion and tradition that catapulted the label to the cutting edge of fashion, subtly altering an inoffensive font with a stylised shake-up. 

For McGirr, the decision to bring the logo back reflects his own understanding of the label’s history and a return to the codes of the House. Immediately, this in-tune approach was spotted on social media, with users likening what they saw to the old McQueen. With the Irish designer debuting the collection at Paris Fashion Week this month, this feels like a marker of his McQueen manifesto, which will look to the archives to inform his own output. 

Another British brand to look to the past to push the present is Burberry, which harnessed the power of logos to mark the beginning of its new chapter. In February 2023, Burberry brought its Equestrian Knight logo back from the graphic graveyard, marking the beginning of freshly announced Chief Creative Officer Daniel Lee’s tenure at the House. In his first campaign, the logo overlayed distinctly British images of swans on the bank of the Thames and a host of British talent, including SkeptaShygirl, and Vanessa Redgrave. A portfolio of images as British as a lukewarm builder’s brew needed some old-school graphics, and this is exactly what the Equestrian Knight logo nailed. 

Tyrone Lebon / Burberry ©

The Equestrian Knight design was the winning entry of a public competition to design a new logo for Burberry in 1901 and is reflective of the brand’s historic functional footing. For example, the British brand designed a lightweight raincoat for soldiers during the First World War, which quickly caught on thanks to its aesthetic properties. As well as depicting a horse-mounted knight, symbolising honour and protection, the logo features the word “Prorsum,” meaning forwards in Latin, reflective of Lee’s look to the past to inform the future of the label. 

When Lee unveiled the logo for his debut Burberry campaign, he removed any of the previous branding designed by his predecessor, affirming his position with a look to the past. This move injected an Instagramable nostalgia into the brand, reminiscent of the energising graphic regeneration seen in Lee’s previous positions. 

A campaign’s social media shareability is vital in today’s digital-dominated age. For Bottega Veneta’s discrete approach to luxury design, logoed campaigns give a branded stamp of approval to its logo-free collections, quickly identifying its pieces on our algorithms. Hailed as a pioneer of the stealth wealth, or dare we say it, “Quiet Luxury,” trends with its gimmick-free, quality-focused designs, the Italian House uses logos to trademark its effortless style. Across campaigns captured in everyday spaces such as parks, as seen in its most recent Spring/Summer 2024 campaign, to elevating its pieces in aspirational settings such as yachts for Spring/Summer 2020, its imagery is often finished with a logoed hallmark of timeless luxury. 

Bottega Veneta ©

Bottega Veneta’s fuss-free, legible serif logo, is easy to read and doesn’t scream for our attention, much like the clothing seen on its runways and stores. This refined approach to branding demonstrates how logos are a continuation of brand image and a quickly identifiable marker in today’s fast-moving fashion landscape. 

On the other side of the coin, Louis Vuitton’s logo-laden, monogram-to-the-max displays are a reflection of Men’s Creative Director, Pharrell Williams’ powerful impact on pop culture. From Billionaire Boys Club, and its ICECREAM offshoot and a helping hand with BAPEPharrell sure knows how to put a brand into the pop-culture zeitgeist. There is a common thread between all of these creative ventures: logos. From BBC’s astronaut emblem to ICECREAM’s melting skull and cross-cone, each is a distinct visual signifier we associate with the brand. And for his latest venture at Louis Vuitton, Pharrell is giving us more of the same. 

In June 2023, a pregnant Rihanna spotlighted Louis Vuitton’s monogrammed Speedy Bag ahead of Pharrell’s runway debut. Not only did the campaign set the tone for what was to come, but it also featured an unmistakable spell-out “Louis Vuitton” logo layered across the visual. The female-fronted campaign, under a Men’s Creative Director, got people talking, with Louis Vuitton logoed branding serving at a high-end stamp of approval. 

Logoed campaigns are nothing new. They are a pillar of perception, forming an integral part of the visual ecosystem so vital to the fashion industry. Beyond this, logos have become the trump card in the seemingly non-stop game of Creative Director musical chairs that is currently consuming fashion. When a new head designer joins a House, reviving a logo from the past is a mark in the sand, separating the past from their tenure as they begin a new chapter. It is a signifier of a brand’s history and a crucial mark of identity in today’s digital landscape. 

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