Has Calgary Gone Logo Crazy?
Despite the latest economic crunch, Calgary is putting their money where we all can see it. Not just their homes, cars or engagement rings. No, it's on their shoulders, on their backs and perched in the crooks of their arms. Logo'd bags, wallets and luggage are taking over.
Let’s take a stroll down fashion history lane. After their latest fashion surge in the late 90s and the start of the new millennium, many folks stored or gave away their printed Louis', Fendi's, and Gucci printed bags. Who remembers the printed gems circa the Carrie Bradshaw character in Sex and the City? Like the beloved show, they too had to end their fabulous reign.
As we moved into the mid 2000s among the style elite they were deemed to overt or tacky. It was too showy. Perhaps too easy. I think the thought was that the clearly-discernable-logos does not a great bag necessarily make. Rather, the composition and craftsmanship was king. The fashion crowd shifted to an understated bag that you knew was quality, without it being covered in brand insignias. The average person likely did not know how much that bag cost compared to the loud bags just a decade before. Of course those who know, will always know. But it's not because of the logos or flashy material. It’s because they could distinguish a Balenciaga from a Prada just by the shade of leather.
This appeared to be cemented in the fashion world after the 2008 recession. A more modest aesthetic was the norm in handbags among other lifestyle products. Tough times called for practical cuts, subdued shades of and small (mostly interior) logos. It became the style soup de jour. But like most trends, and daily soups, change was a coming. Fast-forward to 2015 and Alberta downturn be damned, the logos are back.
I can't count the number of logos I see accompanying ladies in commuter shoes these days. On the downtown streets, in the malls, and in the airport terminals I'm seeing one brand multiplying faster than Snapchat photos. It's Louis Vuitton. On the weekends I see them toting party goods to backyard BBQs, carrying on gear on domestic flights, and holding gifts for children's birthdays. Apparently, no matter the occasion the logo patterns are meant to be seen and the owners are making damn sure they are. Need more proof, check Instagram for the proliferation outside of our great city.
Recently, Chinook Centre's Hudson Bay houses LXR&CO. It's Calgary's only pre-owned luxury bags and other leather good reseller of it's kind. Each new shipment brings gently used, still beautiful bags screaming the blatant "LV", double "F" and interconnected "G’s" and "C’s" of some of the most visibly memorable brands. Many of the bags can be easily recalled from collections past while other's are more classic in style. No matter what, they are back because they are selling. Interesting.
No need to be discrete no more, Calgary. Loud (and obvious) statements in fashion are back. No need to wonder what brand that bag is; you can read it from more than ten feet away. Brands are often badges of pride (and perceived wealth). Like our gourmet lattes and fresh pressed juices we must feel we are worth the luxury expense. We must, too, want to show to others our choices and perceived worth. At the very least we must be tired of the more subdued trends of the past and instead, are ready to put our personal taste (and budget) on full blast.
Should you chose to invest in a conspicuous printed bag, consider for a moment those who else have made that choice and what they may, too, say about your style. Is your style loud, proud and obviously expensive? Or do you want to be more discrete and neat?
Or am I reading too much into it and it's just fun bags?