“What is it?” I hear a little kid tentativley ask as he points to one of the Fendi buggies loosely dangling from a woman’s bag as he sits across from me on the subway. Out loud I do not respond but think to myself, “that’s branding.” I then look down and smile at the eyed heart on my Comme des Garçons Play striped blue and white shirt. That’s branding too. I have said and will probably say again that I hate the entire concept of branding. People in general care a lot about branding. Even the character of the Comme heart I pay for in part not because of it’s sheer cuteness but because it is by Comme des Garçons and that is of course crazy cool.
Branding is what gives popularity to a company, but it’s also the brands you choose to wear or choose not to wear that openly advertise something about yourself. Brands are a devastating summation of who you are. The logo of any label breaths an inherent promise. The polo of Ralph Lauren promises a bright sporting life and the American visage of success. The Abercrombie and Fitch easy curved lines of their jeans and moose graphic promise the life of the smiling, six-packed young American teenager. You Lululemon wearers are the to and from green drink sippers who relish in the healthy life (press here to learn a little more about you). And you Calvin Klein underwear revealers embrace the new advertisement and really do ____ in your Calvin’s.
In the Happiest Place on Earth, or even in an economically stable non wage gap America, fashion wouldn’t be largely decided on brand name. I wouldn’t have to see the crossing Gs of Gucci or the overlapping LV logos of Louis Vuitton to grasp that the clasp of a bag is what can indicate how nice or even how fashion forward you are. In the same way I feel cool wearing Rick Owens just because I know I am wearing Rick Owens (a designer who is infamously known for being “with the people” for his understated and cool designs) his overly expensive parafernalia I am obsessed with looking at and marveling at their softness. However, in the previous post “Sleep No More” I am wearing a Rabbit Hole shirt which has been mistankenly thought of as Rick Owens. I love Rick Owens and so am drawn to any look of the like. But then again that white billowing and pinched shirt is not Rick Owens, more of a cheaper mockup. Does the Rick Owens tag make any difference? Should the tag stand for originality even at a higher cost or is it rather the overall look, no matter the brand that matters most?
And so the answer to these questions I leave up to you.
In the photos to follow I am wearing a KTZ coat covered in patches of branding.
My Look: KTZ coat, Calvin Klein tights, and Zara zip shoes