The classic adage that Juliet Capulet once asked herself in her soliloquy of “what’s in a name?” can we all just take a second to ask ourselves that exact question when we next decide on our next big splurge, or at the very least consider it.
While logos and monograms have never faded per se, it was deemed as “tacky” that one might have scoffed at. But then Jeremy Scott made it look cool again, and it has slowly made a comeback. Like Alessandro Michele over at Gucci making the horsebit detail come back to life. And Nicolas Ghesquière has somewhat managed to make the iconic L’s and costly V’s feel cool again, and Chanel, for better or worse, never really attempted to abandon its interlocking C’s to appease the popular opinion. This opinion, however, has been following a model that extols inconspicuous luxury.
One thing I learned while living in Asia was that brand names defined your social class. Louis Vuitton was deemed “the secretary bag” and this isn’t just some rumour mill around the office, or some ‘Mean Girl’ pink doting Wednesday rule, but something quite disturbing and was even mentioned on BusinessInsider. I remember my younger days in Paris and the reason why I fell in love with the City, the people and its fashion, people genuinely took the time to love the aesthetics and appreciate the craftsmanship behind the design and not the brand. Whereas now it’s concentrated and with a blink of an eye we are onto the next newest thing. Blame it on books like Crazy Rich Asians, or whatever.
But we are back at an interesting intersection where what we have spent the greater half of the 2010’s calling tacky – aka label whores – is slowly beginning to feel tasteful again. And if 2013 saw the rise of an era defined by a new form of discernible label; like the Nike swoosh, the Adidas triangle, Calvin Klein’s underwear band, etc. 2015 is on track to take back ostentatious branding coupled with the expensive labels that command it.
So what happens now? Are we back at a grisly inflection point that idolize those who have it and pariah those who can’t? I guess this isn’t new, but this vicious cycle is as evil as sugar.
A personal story of mine, and why I love the monogram Louis Vuitton, no matter how saturated the market is with fakes from grades A to Z, (you can also check out my thoughts on fakes “Mind Vs Matter” post here) I came to quickly appreciate the quality above anything. My first LV was a hand-me-down from my Grandmother, the Noe bag you see pictured there, it’s funny how it still manages to look like new, because when my Grandmother first got it she was ever so careful with it, and 20+ years after, kept in it’s dustbag in my closet. I still don’t carry it as often for sentimental reasons but it is one timeless and iconic piece that I am very proud to own. Did you know the original LV Noe bag made its first debut in 1932, due to a request by a Champagne producer to be able to transport stylishly 5 bottles of champagne, four upright, and one in the middle upside down. Hm? Well there’s my fun ‘did-you-know’ fact for the day, ha.
I see ostentatious branding coming back as a good thing, while this will further substantiate a case for slow fashion and quieting down the necessity we have cultivated to buy, cheap, buy, cheap, go go go! as to make us think twice before spending our hard-earned money on something. We used to call owning an Hermes an investment, but all of that seems irrelevant now.
People often overlook that being in control over your personal style has a much powerful voice than anything. So this broils down to my next question, who or what are you buying/dressing for? What does fashion mean to you? And how much of it inspires or defines your personal style? So tell me, what’s in a name?
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