written by Kat Hertz
It’s not to say that heritage logos like Gucci and Fendi “went” anywhere. But suddenly you can’t look around Old Montreal or Queen West without seeing a girl in a Gucci belt.
Tracing the origins of this nostalgic resurgence is no easy feat, but a few scrolls through any Montreal or Toronto Instagram fashion account show Gucci logo belts, embossed bags and all-over Fendi logo print, making it clear there’s something going on. Fendi, in particular, released an entire capsule in collaboration with Net-a-Porter consisting of garments featuring their logo transformed into an all-over print.
Popular Toronto fashion influencers Cassandra, Aly and Nadia Antonangeli of @3girlsandourcloset share why they’re donning Italian brands like Gucci saying, “They are great investment pieces and will last forever. For example, the classic Gucci fanny pack that was popular in the late 90’s, early 2000’s has now made its comeback.”
The Antonangeli sisters also explain their personal pride in Italian heritage logos shaping Canadian fashion. “We love our Italian heritage and love that we can pay tribute to it with the clothes we wear everyday.” These brands are woven into not only trends, but also into Toronto street culture; they are shaping what Canadian style looks like as a whole.
Since there’s no denying the heritage logo comeback story, the big question is: “why?”
Instagram is the new Vogue
Logos are the original photo tags, dating back to way before the age of social media and making the products you see around you recognizable. When logos appear in Instagram photos, selfies become ads reaching thousands every day. All it takes is the right person in the right place, and logos can immediately add prestige to an otherwise ordinary moment. Cultural shift or advertising movement, there’s no denying that heritage brands are back and redefining the way we talk about logos in general. And that’s pretty powerful.
Superflat + Logomania = Gucci obsession
Modern artist Takashi Murakami’s body of work embodies a movement called Superflat, which refers to the breakdown of high and low culture, creating an even (flat) playing field where art is widely accessible. We’ve seen a similar trickledown effect in Montreal and Toronto street culture manifested by high-fashion logos that belong to another post-modern trend called logomania. Defined specifically by brand logos and symbols appearing among a wide segment of the population, logomania represents a shift whereby the stamp of the logo itself becomes a key styling feature of an item or outfit.
The Fendi collaboration with Net-a-Porter is a prime example of logomania in action. The high-fashion icon teamed up with a mass-production retailer, thus making Fendi attainable while feeding our obsession with haute couture. As fashionista Kristina Pittam of @wearelivingart explains, “I think Gucci is especially idolized as the luxury-name brand that people ‘need’ to have a handbag from. The double GG belt is also a super popular choice.” She confesses, “I am guilty of owning all of the above-mentioned accessory types.”
Kristina notes, “Gucci went through a sort of rebranding first, from a more traditional Italian brand to a trendier and more contemporary brand. By introducing playful additions to their clothing and handbags (for example, with embroidery and rhinestone detailing) they took a new direction with their brand that, as a result, began to interest a younger demographic of customers.”