Logomania Is Back & More Refined Than Ever

Think elevated, not garish.

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Kate Moss in Tommy Hilfiger
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There was a time when the designer logo trend served as a subtle signal alerting passersby to the status symbol that was a wearer’s pricey new purchase, be it by way of Louis Vuitton’s iconic monogram print or the interlocking double C’s of Chanel. But somewhere along the way, society’s need to showcase status took the humble house label and went berserk with it — logos got bigger and splashier (see the ‘00s era of the Juicy tracksuit), and the look became more about the brand recognition than actual quality. The style has wafted in and out of relevance over the years, and since the early 2010s, it has felt less significant. One might say that decade is better defined by quiet luxury labels — see The Row, Lemaire, and Old Celine — beloved for their timeless, understated designs.

But lately? It feels like designers are bringing logos back, but with an innovative new approach: Rather than splashing their collections with in-your-face brand emblems, they’re releasing monogram prints that feel intentional, not flashy.

This shift was first notable to me when Fendi and Versace teamed up for Fendace, a collaboration oversaturated with not one iconic logo, but two. Still, I didn’t believe the look was really, truly making a comeback until I sat in the rain-soaked audience watching the Tommy Hilfiger AW22 runway show unfold. There was magic in the air — and fresh monogram prints on the outerwear and accessories. Done in the brand’s classic Americana colorway as well as an understated neutral take, brand name-inspired patterns were splattered across as many pieces as possible.

Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

After the show, I began to notice monograms and logo prints getting a facelift left and right. While I’ve always been a fan of Prada for its subdued Saffiano leather styles, I suddenly found myself lusting over the company’s newer jacquard print pieces inspired by the Prada Symbole, the house’s iconic triangle-encompassed logo. The geometric print now appears on numerous canvas handbags, and the brand’s decision to create such a print while staying true to house codes is an undeniable response to logomania’s impending return.

Prada Jacquard Fabric Tote Bag.

The trend is also trickling down to more contemporary labels: On a recent stroll through Banana Republic to stock up on knitwear, a logo-emblazoned cotton trench stopped me dead in my tracks. It looked so elevated, so chic — to be frank, the BR monogram wasn’t far off from the successful but imaginary Burberry rebrand I’d been dreaming of for years now.

Occasionally delegitimized from fashion and dubbed a “mall store,” Banana Republic’s monogram-heavy rebrand is a clear sign of more luxe offerings to come. Nicole Wiesmann, Banana Republic’s VP of design, tells TZR how the new look came to be. “Banana Republic has historically been known as a non-logo brand, but when we dug into BR’s Archive we found different fonts and monograms that conveyed aesthetic shifts in the brand over the years,” she says. “We were particularly inspired by an athletic[wear] concept we found in the old BR catalogs, so we adjusted the monogram to have a more modern varsity feel that could be translated into a pattern.”

Banana Republic Logo Trench

Of course, one can’t talk about brands giving their old logos a facelift without a hearty round of applause for MCM. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, few pieces held the clout of an MCM logo-covered backpack — but over time, some of the company’s best-known styles were tossed aside for being too ostentatious. Dan Manioci, MCM’s VP of marketing and global digital, tells TZR the brand knew it needed to evolve.

“MCM’s iconic monogram was born in 1976 Munich during the disco era. It was the time of luxury jet set and it catered to the rock star elite. Music legends like Diana Ross were early admirers, particularly with the luggage pieces,” shares Manioci. “Today, the monogram is evolving under the creative direction of Dirk Schönberger, global brand officer. Dirk understands that to grow, evolution is important. In recent collections, you will see a newer pattern, our 3D cubic monogram, which is inspired by the classic monogram and the Bavarian flag itself.”

MCM AW22 Campaign Imagery

Reinventing an iconic monogram without losing the brand’s essence was not something Schönberger and the MCM design team took lightly. “The heritage monogram — at MCM it is called the Cognac Visetos — is precious real estate. As with any luxury brand, we understand and respect the importance of the monogram that helped define us,” says Manioci. “To that end, we also understand that it’s important to evolve and showcase updated monograms. To reach new people, you need to try new things,” he says. “At the end of the day, the signature monogram is our foundation, and we take that seriously.”

While some brands are reinventing old monograms, others are partaking in the trend for the very first time — just look at luxury outerwear brand Mackage, who tapped Lil Kim to model its brand-new AW22 collection, the focus of which is its first-ever logo print.

Prior to now, Mackage’s subtle branding might’ve qualified it as quiet luxury, but founder and chief creative officer Eran Elfassy knew a defining monogram was an unavoidable need. “I felt that it was important to create a pattern that showed our brand in plain sight,” Elfassy told TZR. “We have such incredible, high-performance pieces. I wanted them to be easily identified as Mackage.”

Lil Kim For Mackage, Shot By Drew Vickers

Just as monogram designs are starting to feel more elevated, so too is the approach to styling them. In the past, true logomania was identified by a head-to-toe monogram print — think of ensembles dreamed up by Dapper Dan, creative genius and fashion’s unofficial father of the look. Lately, though, the vibe is less all-or-nothing, and brands are styling these statement pieces with more subtle accents, so as to let them shine on their own.

Once a logo detractor, Elfassy has come to appreciate the ways in which fashion has shifted to re-embrace the idea of heavy visual name placements. “I think today’s trend of monogram prints reflects the consumer’s desire to pay homage to their favorite brands’ heritage, but doing so in a modern way that feels and looks relevant,” he shares.

Manioci agrees that this new iteration of the logo trend will not be the last form we see it take. “As people, we are programmed to migrate toward something that shows status, that has relevance. To me, logomania is not going anywhere anytime soon. Instead, it’s a question about how this obsession will change with time,” he says. “The brands that can stay ahead of the trends are the ones who will win out in the end.”

Below, shop a few of our logomania must-haves, from understated to exaggerated.

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