Louis Vuitton Logos Are Obnoxious But So Are Their Haters

My first op-ed here was about luxury brands and fast fashion. I didn't know it at the time, but the term I needed, and what I was really advocating for, was slow fashion - good, conscientious fashion, which also happens to be generally pricer. 

One of my best friends, Linh, sent me a Washington Post article about Louis Vuitton and Gucci falling behind in sales, sinking into trouble because their extremely well known logos are stamped everywhere for everyone to see. Literally, the LV and GG are made to be the equivalent of a neon sign hanging over the bearer's head screaming "I spent $600 on this thin, silk, scarf!!" (that is about to get caught in a bush!!! or drooled on by a baby!!) But there are two sides to the story, and I would like to share my empathy for Louis Vuitton (and Gucci, and Prada - yes, the great, blessed, Prada is also facing this trouble) but also point out how this new "no logo" trend fits in nicely with slow fashion and could also do our society some good. 

Gucci and Louis Vuitton (taken from their sites)

Prada. Gucci. Louis Vuitton. At the mere name of these fashion houses, you think of Paris, the world's fashion capital or Italy, the home of the world's finest leather goods. You imagine high profile individuals, exuding the classiest, no-nonsense auras, dressed to the nines in these brands. These brands are practically royal - which isn't a stretch, Louis Vuitton the designer was hired as a leather trunk-maker for Napoleon III's wife. In our modern world of independent men and women, a Prada handbag or leather Gucci backpack is like the ultimate shiny badge, awarded to the individual who just kept hustlin', putting in hours to eventually afford the bag. Or, well, it can still mean you're royal, like actual royalty of some country or you-come-from-old-money 'royal'. How else are you going to show the world your socioeconomic status if your leather bag is plain and unlabeled? The point is, the iconic logos of these fashion houses are part of what make this royal distinction. Taking the logos away would be like saying black is replacing the traditional purple color for royalty. The selling points of Louis Vuitton include craftsmanship but also, frankly, the legit logo. Haters can hate all they want, but these fashion houses are decades old - LV dates back to 1854 - and it's taken that long for these logos to build up the reputation that they have now. That's something to respect. 

However, thanks to consumer culture and credit cards, it is possible to buy a $2,000+ purse and finance it over a year or two. Now that just anyone can afford an LV or Gucci bag, it's become somewhat uncool to tote around these branded items to essentially show off. People now look for underrated and low key luxury labels, such as Miu Miu (sister brand of Prada), Celine (baby of LV empire), or on the more "affordable" luxury end, Mansur Gavriel, Furla, etc. These brands have consistently been minimal in their logo placement: simply the brand name stamped across the top of the bag or wallet in smallish font, unnoticeable unless you're standing a foot or two away. Other brands, especially ones that are locally hand made, are taking it a step further, forgoing the label stamped on the outside and keeping it only on the inner linings of the bags. 

Celine and Mansur Gavriel (taken from their sites)

Furla and Julia Gabriel (taken from their sites)

As a result, the no brand trend caters to women of all socioeconomic classes, making fashion more accessible. The fashionistas of the upper class can feel a sense of exclusiveness and even superiority in just knowing that their bags are less mainstream than those of their friends. On the other hand, working class women can get away with looking stylish and high end with bags from the likes of Zara, Topshop, even H&M or Forever 21. Meanwhile, slow fashion almost exclusively follows the no brand trend, and this can be seen through brands like Evens and Julia Gabriel, both of which are Houston based leather and handbag labels. These brands focus on quality and design, and forgo their labels completely on their products (I spent like thirty minutes trying to figure out who made the leather card holder I love dearly - it was Evens.) 

Zara (taken from site)

H&M (taken from site)

In conclusion, it's nice to see the old fashion houses embracing change and introducing new collections without their logos stamped all over, and I personally subscribe to the no logo trend, but I still pay my respects to the LV and GG and think you should too. 


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