So who is that fashion victim? Someone who spends a lot of money on clothing just to turn around and do it all over again in another 3 to 6 months. Someone who doesn’t really want to buy new clothing, but has to, because they’re stuck with looks that were chic yesterday yet are completely out of date today. Someone who spends too much money on conservative looks from fashion designers for quality when they could have found something made just as well elsewhere for a fraction of the price. Basically, someone who spends money on fashion but doesn’t have anything to show for it.
You’ve heard the arguments, “designer clothing is better made, it lasts longer, it looks better”. Sure, a creative graphic logo on clothing can look good, and it should; great logos are meant to convey the aesthetic, values, and meaning of a brand, and designers can use logos to build relationships with consumers. But when consumers cannot distinguish between great clothing, and the great efforts of a designer to market an idea, disaster is inevitable.
A great brand exists independently of a logo; you would know Ralph Lauren from anywhere – you recognize the color schemes, you know the care of which the designers there have went to create clothing that is aged properly, how the clothing looks better with age, and you recognize the quality. The logo is recognized and taken into consideration after the fact; the clothes aren’t built around the message that the designer is conveying, rather, that message is pervasive in the details of the clothing, the logo simply serves to remind you of where the clothes are coming from. On the other hand, if you were to deal with all-about-the-label designer you may not recognize the details without the designer’s logo, and there may not be any real purpose to the clothing other than the idea that you are wearing designer clothing.
Logos used to mean something at one point in time; they were simply emblems used by designers to reinforce their point of view to consumers that needed a point of reference that you could use to explain an article of clothing to someone without going into a whole lot of detail. Designer clothing was more expensive than “regular” clothing, as many store labels and other smaller companies in the clothing business didn’t make too big of a deal of it and simply allowed the quality of the attire to speak for itself. Somewhere between the late eighties and the early nineties the logos themselves became chic, and individuals were more interested in the myth behind the logo than they were in the clothes themselves. Those in the know could always buy quality goods that did not feature the ubiquitous logos because the average consumer wanted to pay more for that extra graphic design, missing out totally on the reason those logos were there to begin with. The idea was that those clothes had earned that designation, not that the designation was used to define the clothing. Before long, many of the newer designers and their associated labels began to use logos aggressively from the bottom up, whereas logos were pervasive throughout the clothing line, regardless of whether they were necessary of not.
If you’ll learn anything from this article; keep in mind that logos are to add a little extra touch of flair to clothing, but aren’t meant to replace the clothing entirely and are not as much of a statement of class as the average consumer may think that they are. A true label that is worth the money may use various logos here and there, but the more expensive, “higher” offerings will not feature the logo whatsoever. All logos tell us is that you’re in love with the idea of wearing cheap and chic designer clothing, and aren’t serious about true style in which you have to rely on the tried and true methods of using clothing to make an artistic statement. It tells people that you have bought into the hype and marketing tactics of advertisers that want to use you to tell the next person that this designer’s clothing is better than the rest.
What happens when you want to create an outfit using different articles of clothing from different designers, and they all have someone’s logo on it? Like anything else; you may match two different solids together, but never two different paisley, prints or patterns, without some level of modesty; this is unattainable when the logos can be seen from a distance, and they aren’t discrete.
Designer clothing may last longer, and then again it may not. If that’s all that you wear, it probably will not, because you’re putting it through extra use. If it’s made in a warehouse that makes clothing for other designers, chances are everything that is made in that factory is up to the same standards. Don’t pay for some high-end designer’s denim, and expect that it is made better than that of someone else, just to realize that everything from Old Navy to Gucci is made the same way. That’s somewhat of an exaggeration of course, (and no, Old Navy and Gucci aren’t made in the same factories), but not completely off-course. Some new designer may be using the same people that work for a label that isn’t as chic. The sooner you do your homework and learn about the ins and outs of fashion labels the better off you will be, and the more money you can save yourself at the end of the day. Avoid those fashion traps at all costs, and take your time and look around a bit, before giving into those fashion impulses.
- Chris Kendalls