Esquire Middle East - - STYLE -

What do Calvin Klein, Burberry, Ce­line, Bri­oni, Mai­son Margiela, and Ri­mowa and have in com­mon? You’ll be aware that they all make items of a cer­tain lux­ury. And aside from that? They’ve also all re­cently changed lo­gos.

This ar­guably started with Hedi Sli­mane, who in 2012 re­branded Yves Saint Lau­rent, by short­en­ing the name and de­ployed his favourite Hel­vetica bold caps. “Ain’t Lau­rent With­out Yves” T-shirts ap­peared: he sued the maker of those, then dou­bled Saint Lau­rent’s prof­its. He also ap­peared to own the rights; af­ter his 2016 de­par­ture Saint Lau­rent’s logo had to change again so the “Ns” and the “Ts” now join. A sim­i­lar hoo-ha oc­curred this year when Sli­mane’s first move at Cé­line was to drop the acute ac­cent, space the let­ters out and again use bold Hel­vetica caps.

Else­where, Peter Sav­ille — the Joy Di­vi­sion and New Or­der record sleeve de­signer — has cre­ated new lo­gos for both Calvin Klein and Burberry in the last 18 months. In the same pe­riod, Bri­oni has re­turned to its orig­i­nal logo af­ter a dis­as­trous sea­son where it ex­per­i­mented with a Spinal Tap font and Me­tal­lica fronting its ads. In other news, Louis Vuit­ton, Prada and Gucci have played with this idea of adding “& Co” to their names — “Guccy” jumpers riffed on the bootlef streetwear craze of mis­spelling de­signer names. Of course, when we buy fancy clothes we’re also buy­ing into a brand’s iden­tity. Chang­ing the logo keeps them front and cen­tre in our minds. It’s now be­come the first move of a new cre­ative di­rec­tor. Woe be­tide any­one who sug­gest any of this is some kind of pub­lic­ity stunt.

“It’s in no way about mark­ing my ter­ri­tory,” Sli­mane ex­plained of ac­cent-gate. “All fun­da­men­tals must be care­fully con­sid­ered with­out los­ing sight of the long-term goal. It’s or­tho­doxy, quite sim­ply. In­stalling lan­guage el­e­ments that are rooted in the orig­i­nal his­tory of the house, its foun­da­tions, re­turn­ing to an ar­chi­tec­tural and graphic align­ment is key to the project.”

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