Fashion vs branding
The trick to making money
There is a difference between branding and fashion. The two elements are part of a bigger picture but aren’t the same thing. Perhaps it doesn’t take an expert eye to notice that branding is at the core of fashion nowadays. Or, to rephrase it, fashion stops at branding, which means no particular effort in terms of design. No designers too!
When branding is too much
The logo is a symbol used to identify a company. So the website, the promotional material, and everything else related will show it to reflect the brand essence.
But the point is that now, all they sell in fashion are t-shirts, sweatshirts, and accessories showing a logo. Visibile, as much as possible, or all over!
Why? And who is the target?
First, big logos are easy to sell and make money. But to understand why fashion Maisons need branding, we quote Naomi Klein, from her brilliant book No Logo:
“…it’s the young people living in developed and semi-developed countries who are the great global hope. More than anything or anyone else, logo-decorated middle-class teenagers, intent on pouring themselves into a media-fabricated mould, have become globalization’s most powerful symbols.”
Logoed items are products used as bait. Can we call it fashion? No, we do not think so. That is branding.
Fashion is more than stamping a logo. Fashion means creativity, culture, a vision and a soul shown through the design.
For instance, printing a logo on a t-shirt doesn’t require the same creative work as designing a garment from scratch, but it grants a large audience and quick money. Instead, brands that focus on design have a limited audience. That is why we call them niche brands, their work is for a more cultured audience.
So, it’s not difficult to understand why top brands moved from fashion to branding.
To demonstrate, we quote Glenn Martens (Y/Project and Diesel designer) via Financial Times:
“I’m a very bad creative director, according to the CEOs I work for, because I won’t put logos on garments… We all know that luxury brands are selling sweatshirts that cost €70 for €700 by putting branding on them. That’s not for me, and it’s not taking your customer seriously.”
Fashion and branding: enjoy the trick!
If you believe that showcasing logos is fashion, we are sorry to inform you it is not. That is branding. Unfortunately, designers have stopped creating value. And to make easy profits instead of making fashion, they have switched to branding.
People love logos, people love brands! Status, even though fake, works for the masses.
Of course, if you are looking for true style, you don’t need that fluff. The branding optical illusion won’t catch you.