A fash­ion house is as gold as its logo and his­tory. We look at four iconic la­bels and their past to un­der­stand how their ban­ner be­came so strongly syn­ony­mous with their brand.

Preview (Philippines) - - Chapter Five Workshop -


French ten­nis player René La­coste was nick­named “The Croc­o­dile” by his fans and the press be­cause of his ath­letic bold­ness, pointy nose and a fa­mous wa­ger over a croc­o­dile-skin hand­bag. Fully em­brac­ing the moniker, René asked his friend Robert Ge­orge to il­lus­trate a croc­o­dile as his in­signia, which made its first em­broi­dered ap­pear­ance on his blazer.


To­gether with An­dré Gil­lier, owner of one of the largest knitwear man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies in Paris, René founded La Chemise La­coste, pro­duc­ing ten­nis shirts with croc­o­dile lo­gos em­broi­dered on the chest.


An evo­lu­tion in the de­sign of the logo sees the text as the same size as the croc­o­dile to dis­cour­age coun­ter­feits. An­other evo­lu­tion is the tex­ture vari­a­tion of the logo—em­broi­dered, metal or printed—de­pend­ing on the fab­ric or qual­ity of the clothes.


To cel­e­brate their 80th an­niver­sary, graphic artist Peter Sav­ille (known for his work for Joy Di­vi­sion and Y-3) de­signed a hol­i­day col­lec­tion for La­coste with a range of ab­stract in­ter­pre­ta­tions of the orig­i­nal green croc.

GUCCI 1933

Aldo Gucci, one of Guc­cio Gucci’s (the founder of the Ital­ian la­bel) sons, de­signed the two in­ter­lock­ing Gs that sym­bol­ize the ini­tials of his fa­ther.


With Amer­i­can de­signer Tom Ford at the helm as the new cre­ative di­rec­tor, the Gucci logo was up­dated with a more mod­ern and sen­sual look, seen in a me­tal­lic fin­ish on hand­bags and store­fronts. The dou­ble Gs are more closely in­ter­twined, and one G is in­verted.


In a depar­ture from the min­i­mal­ist aes­thetic of Tom Ford’s suc­ces­sor, Frida Gian­nini, Gucci’s new cre­ative di­rec­tor, Alessan­dro Michele, re­verted to the ’80s dou­ble-g logo and rein­ter­preted it for his mod­ern au­di­ence with thin, pointed ends. It made its first ap­pear­ance on the run­way in belt buck­les, and later ap­peared in more ac­ces­sories and cloth­ing. A col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Alessan­dro and graf­fiti artist Trou­ble An­drew, aka Guc­cighost, re­sulted af­ter Alessan­dro saw the lat­ter’s un­so­licited in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the dou­ble-g logo in the streets. It was a re­fresh­ing sur­prise that showed up on the Fall/ Win­ter 2016 run­way.

YSL 1963

The YSL mono­gram, with Yves Saint Lau­rent’s ver­ti­cally in­ter­twined ini­tials, is of a dis­tinct cu­bist style de­signed by Ukra­ni­an­french artist Adolphe Mouron Cas­san­dre, who was fa­mous for de­sign­ing type­faces, ads and magazine cov­ers (no­tably for Harper’s Bazaar).


In Septem­ber 26, 1966, Yves opened his first bou­tique for Saint Lau­rent Rive Gauche, a line for pro­fes­sional women who wanted a more ac­ces­si­ble range. It bore a mod­ern, color-blocked logo in a sans-serif font de­signed with per­fume de­signer Pierre Di­nand. No­tably, the name “Yves” was dropped.


The Cas­san­dre Yves Saint Lau­rent logo was used dur­ing the ten­ure of three dif­fer­ent cre­ative di­rec­tors (Al­ber El­baz, Tom Ford and Ste­fano Pi­lati).


Un­der new cre­ative di­rec­tor Hedi Sli­mane, the com­pany re­branded to Saint Lau­rent Paris. While the YSL logo re­mained on some prod­ucts, run­way pieces went incog­nito without any in­signias.


An­thony Vac­carello’s de­but as cre­ative di­rec­tor saw the un­of­fi­cial re­turn of the let­ter Y in YSL, and a throw­back to the orig­i­nal 1963 logo on the run­way. Though the old logo has been seen on stilet­tos, ear­rings and stock­ings, there has been no of­fi­cial word yet on a name or logo change.


Span­ish de­signer Cristóbal Ba­len­ci­aga moved to Paris, formed his Ba­len­ci­aga com­pany and pre­sented his first cou­ture col­lec­tion. His name­sake logo ap­peared in an il­lus­trated ad­ver­tise­ment.

1970s to 1988

The mono­gram logo of dou­ble Bs is seen on hand­bags and made its ap­pear­ance on a print ad­ver­tise­ment for the re­lease of the Rumba per­fume—the first prod­uct re­leased af­ter Cristóbal’s re­tire­ment.


Un­der the cre­ative di­rec­tion of Ni­cholas Gh­esquière, The It bag is born: a slouchy, vin­tagein­spired bag with dis­tressed thin leather and no logo. The ex­tra-large studs of the bag be­came syn­ony­mous with the brand and rec­og­niz­able any­where in the world.


Demna Gvasalia’s first or­der of busi­ness was to ex­ag­ger­ate the Ba­len­ci­aga brand­ing on a few ac­ces­si­ble items. Pay­ing trib­ute to the brand’s 100th year, he rein­tro­duced a se­ries of Cristóbal’s archival dresses (with match­ing hand­bags, of course) as con­tem­po­rary cou­ture, each stamped with the house’s orig­i­nal logo, as well as the year, col­lec­tion and vin­tage gar­ment the new piece ref­er­ences.

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