The streetwear brand Supreme has always had a cult following, but this year, it hit peak hysteria when it ended up pairing with another logo-famous cult house: Louis Vuitton. The collaboration, which was unveiled in January, and teased hopeful prospective shoppers for months, finally rolled out this summer—to lines that stretched across the world for blocks and blocks and blocks. (Except in New York City, where a community board unanimously decided that the hype would be too disruptive to the city's eternally disrupted streets.)
It was at that moment, perhaps, that we hit logo-mania—something that, as most things these days, found a recent resurgence with Demna Gvasalia, who first found fame by slapping the delivery service DHL's McDonald's-colored logo onto his Vetements designs and sending them down the runway on the Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy—or Гоша Рубчинский, the cyrillic version of his name that he emblazons on most items in his own collections. That cheeky move—along with a Juicy Couture logo—no doubt helped Gvasalia land the much tonier job as creative director of the storied house Balenciaga—whose logo he soon turned into what looked like Bernie Sanders's red, white, and blue campaign slogan, plus slapped onto everything from $1,100 shopping bags to shin guards. (The name of the luxury conglomerate Kering, on the other hand, was relegated to a hoodie.)
Gvasalia is hardly the only cult designer to get into the logo game: The industry's current reigning kings, Alessandro Michele and Raf Simons, have also been screaming out the names of their new jobs. Since Michele took over at Gucci, he's made the house's interlocking G's stick out even amidst his cacophany of designs—and of course, thereby making them turn up around the waists of his stans and muses like Hari Nef, Petra Collins, Dakota Johnson, A$AP Rocky, and soon, maybe even aliens.
Simons, for his part, has been obligingly sticking with Calvin Klein's decades-old logo-mania, though revamping it somewhat with the help of his bud Peter Saville and relocating it to the waistbands of a much fresher crop of underwear models somehow even cooler than Kate Moss, Kendall Jenner, Justin Bieber, Bella Hadid, and dozens of others: the beloved cast of Moonlight, Simons's new muse, Ashton Sanders, and the delightfully toned Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali.
Underwear has also been a major component of Dior's Maria Grazia Chiuri's tactic: Bella Hadid's tulle dress at the house's masked ball earlier this year not only freed her nipples, but showcased the same slogan that also showed up on the bra Charlize Theron wore as a shirt last month to one of the Atomic Blonde premieres: "J'ADIOR" a pun that was bien sûr paired with the name of the French house. (Chiuri's other slogan, "we should all be feminists," seems to have a bit too many characters to squeeze onto a waistline.)
The logo-mania has also extended over to Nike, Adidas, and Fila—the latter of which Rubchinskiy actually once collaborated with, in a very Gvasalia move. After all, logos have always been a more accessible way of showing off ties to high-fashion brands, too: Take Comme des Garçons's signature heart for its much lower priced "Play" line; the Tommy Hilfiger flag that Gigi Hadid has now brought back in style; the easily identifiable HBA logo that arguably in part made Hood by Air a streetwear staple; and, of course, those bending the ropes around Vetements's high-fashion prices and going straight to the source, dressing up as DHL carriers themselves.
Once again, though, we've come full circle: Earlier this summer, it was DHL who unveiled a "capsule collection" with Vetements, though a bit more on their own terms: this time around, it was a DHL package, not a thousand-dollar shopping bag, that served as the main accessory.
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