As original ‘rip-off artist’ Dapper Dan returns with a hot new Gucci collaboration, fashion’s going mad for monograms – real and fake. Here's our edit of the hottest logo pieces to buy right now...
If you had £10,000 to spend on a Gucci coat, you’d want (no, demand) it to be authentic, wouldn’t you? After all, that’s pretty much the point. Not so for a Dapper Dan customer. Back in the 80s, the ‘Harlem hustler’ built a mini fashion empire by producing extravagant custom designs covered in fake designer logos, such as Fendi, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, for rap stars like LL Cool J and Salt-N-Pepa.
After one copyright-infringement lawsuit too many, lawyers acting for houses including Fendi finally closed him down in 1992. But now he’s back, thanks to a brand that once viewed him as the enemy. The puff-sleeved look from Gucci’s Resort 2017 collection (above) reminded many fashion fans of a famous Dapper faux-Vuitton leather design, created for Olympic runner Diane Dixon in 1989. Gucci’s Alessandro Michele was accused of ripping off a rip-off artist – but dealt with it with typical panache, announcing that Gucci will support the reopening of Dapper Dan’s Harlem atelier – and this time, he’ll have all the real Gucci fabrics, prints and hardware he could dream of. An off-the-peg capsule, Gucci x Dapper Dan, will go on sale later this year. ‘Everyone paid homage to Dapper Dan, but no one ever paid him. The people have spoken, and Gucci has listened,’ says Dan.
Logo appropriation is everywhere – from designers paying tribute to unlikely consumer brands to labels making ‘parodies’ of other designer labels. Remember Jeremy Scott’s ‘McDonald’s’ collection for Moschino? Meanwhile, the last few seasons have seen luxury houses falling over themselves to celebrate their own logos. After years of Phoebe Philo-inspired minimalism, SS18 is a smorgasbord of statement branding – stamped on Lanvin bags and Loewe holdalls. Burberry has spent years running from the ‘chav check’ that saw its cred plummet in the 90s, but in September it made a triumphant return, proudly worn head to toe on the catwalk as one of the best logo pieces ever.
Logos on Shirts
The most popular variety of logo clothing is easily the logo tee and I’m pretty sure every brand has ventured into these waters at least once. They’re back with a vengeance this year, though I’m a pretty big fan of this retro chic Fendi one below.
Priced at £590, available at NET-A-PORTER
Logos on clothes
It’s not just the humble T-shirt that’s had a massive update – literally every item of clothing you can get your hands on is getting stamped with something nowadays. Although Kenzo’s loud pieces usually have their tiger logo and name stamped all over their line, I’m really feeling this pared back take with a minimal K from their new collection.
Kenzo Pink Textured Wool-Blend Jumper
Priced at £230, available at Harvey Nichols
Embroidery brings a more sophisticated take to the logo trend. There’s always going to be a time and place for a classic logo printed sweater, but an embroidered bag or trousers go a long way too. I’m particularly feeling these minimal Prada pumps below with a baby blue embroidered ribbon, perfect for killing two trends with one stone with a sweet kitten heel.
Priced at £550, available at Farfetch
Here’s our edit of the hottest best logo pieces to buy now…