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Brief Published: 8 Feb 2017

Menswear A/W 17/18: Branding Modern Luxury

L-R: Balenciaga A/W 17/18, Fendi A/W 17/18

Bold logos and cult-appeal typography pervaded the A/W 17/18 menswear shows this season, as irony, irreverence and a heavy dose of nostalgia continued to redefine luxury branding.

A slew of industry leaders chose to make the logo the focus of their collections, targeting the evolving high-end customer through unexpected collaborations and modern-day riffs on established motifs.

  • Balenciaga: Bernie Sanders’ US presidential campaign logo made for subversive branding at the French fashion house, with the reworked hallmark applied to bomber jackets, T-shirts and oversized puffer scarves. Elsewhere, the brand made fun of its oft-concealed conglomerate ownership, brazenly applying Kering logos to hooded sweatshirts in a move that highlighted the increasing transparency of luxury brands.
  • Junya Watanabe: A host of collaborators provided interest at the Japanese label, which partnered with brands known for their logos and functionality, including Levi’s, Vans and Kangol. But it was ubiquitous outdoor brand The North Face that provided the show’s most recognisable logo. For more on collaboration, see Vetements: Pushing the Boundaries of Collaboration.
  • Fendi: Upbeat sloganeering made for covetable accessories at the Italian label, with words such as ‘Try’, ‘Fantastic’, ‘Listen’ and ‘Love’ etched onto a host of totes, slides and beanies. Irony rose to the fore on a headband stamped with the word ‘Think’, and a Pepto-Bismol pink T-shirt that read ‘Trust Fendi’ in bold soviet typeface.

For more on logo play and brand collaboration, see Youth Style Tribes: Sports Grunge, Subverted Sports: Visual Trend and Instagangs: DIY Designers. 

Irreverence, counterculture and elevating the ordinary will also be explored further in our forthcoming Luxury Macro Trend, publishing in May.