It doesn’t take a genius to notice that we’re going through an economic downturn, to put things lightly. The “hemline index” was created in 1926 by economist George Taylor, positing that economies going through good times saw shorter skirts and bad times, the latter. It’s a theory that’s alluring in its simplicity, albeit now complicated by extenuating circumstances like the climate crisis, but it’s never felt that applicable to the modern world of fashion.
What makes more sense is the rise and fall of logomania which, according to its current downturn—right in line with the economy—acts as a true barometer of the economy in a way that the hemline used to. But one constant amongst these ebbs and flows is the small but distinguishable logo.
You know what we’re referring to here: Prada’s triangle, well placed stripes—whether it’s four from Thom Browne or five from Needles—or Acne’s smiley face. Once a brand tends to find a discreet logo—ironically—it ends up everywhere on their goods. Prada’s triangle is the ideal example of this, it’s small enough to be recognisable regardless of its size and works just as well on everything from a wallet to an overcoat. “Using a simplistic icon in branding is key to not only brand recognition but also its longevity and relevance,” explained DJ Titchener, a designer for several high-end brands, to Dry Clean Only. “The benefits of taking a ‘logo’ and being able to pull it back into its simplistic forms and still remain recognizable means you open up a wealth of branding opportunities without over branding your clothing or accessories.”
But all that said: What is ultimately so alluring about a small logo?