Okay ladies, time to pull out all your early 2000s monogram bags that have been collecting dust at the bottom of your closet for the past decade. Monograms are back and they really are better than ever. Once associated with flashy and in-your-face trends from the early 2000s era, monograms have now made a huge comeback by dominating the runways in recent collections. From Louis Vuitton, to Gucci, Fendi, Dior, Balenciaga and Emporio Armani, the fashion industry has once again fallen in love with prominent branding.
If you read celebrity gossip magazines or watched TMZ religiously, you would know that monogram prints were once seen everywhere. Louis Vuitton's iconic interwoven LV logo, invented in 1896, was the most common. The now discontinued multi-colour monogram print was prominent on huge totes (another early 2000s trend), as were metallics and the graffiti collection released in 2009. The monogram frenzy did eventually run its course, especially when it became affiliated with party girls Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and Lindsay Lohan. Monograms became distasteful and some would even say trashy. Although metallics and massive bags by Louis Vuitton aren't trendy at the moment, the LV logo remained the exception to the unpleasant opinion towards monograms, hence why it never really went out of style. Under the creative direction of Nicholas Ghesquière for womenswear and Kim Jones for menswear, monograms became apparent on clothing as opposed to just accessories.
Although Louis Vuitton may be the God of monograms, Gucci was actually the OG brand in bringing logo accessories back into the limelight. Under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele, the brand went in a maximalist direction when it came to clothing, accessories and footwear. For their Spring 2016 Menswear line, Michele introduced long GG-imprinted coats paired with matching totes. From then on, monograms were once again seen everywhere. For the brand's Resort 2018 collection, Gucci introduced fur-trimmed coats, trousers and skirts all embossed with the infamous GG logo.
A bag emblemed by the acclaimed Fendi "FF" monogram was also a must-have accessory to have in your wardrobe in the early 2000s. From the infamous Spy bag, inspired by a classic detective's satchel, to the Baguette, released in 2001 (made famous by Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw), Fendi monograms were seen on the arms of women everywhere. Under the creative direction of Karl Lagerfeld, Fendi debuted several pieces embossed with the FF logo in their Spring 2018 collection. From jackets to trousers, crop tops and accessories, one could be a walking Fendi advertisement from head to toe. Just look at Kim Kardashian:
Another early 2000s It-bag was the Dior Saddle, another personal favourite of Carrie Bradshaw. Embossed with Dior logos and signature gold tone hardware, the monogrammed Saddle bag made it's return in Dior's Fall 2018 collection under the creative direction of Maria Grazia Chiuri. Celebrities including Elsa Hosk, Bella Hadid and Beyoncé have been seen carrying monogram Dior bags recently - and let's be honest, if it's good enough for them it's definitely good enough for us.
The beauty of fashion is that its constantly changing and recycling past trends and aesthetics. Phoebe Philo's Céline and Hedi Slimane's Saint Laurent were leading brands in the minimalist movement, where understated and discreetness was what everyone wanted to achieve. It was more of an "if you know, you know" aesthetic instead of prominently displaying your wealth. Fast forward to present day and people are no longer ashamed to sport monograms. It's obvious that logos are status symbols. They're a way of showing the world that you can afford to wear Balenciaga, even if it is just a plain white tee with "Balenciaga" printed across the front. It screams "I have money" which, naturally, is considered gauche. However, times have changed, fashion has evolved, and although monograms may not be the most elegant, they exude the kind of luxury we forgot about. By combining nostalgia with innovation, the monogram is timeless as well as trendy.
"We're living in a period of such volatility and such change that something familiar is incredible reassuring," said Christopher Bailey, former creative director of Burberry, to Dazed Magazine when discussing his eagerness to re-vamp and reintroduce the classic check print. Although the check is not technically a monogram, it has the same affect. We all know and love the Burberry checks because it has always represented the brand, making it instantly recognizable.
In conclusion, it looks like the monogram is here to stay - for now. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if you love it or hate it, what matters is that you know it. The early 2000s was a legendary era for fashion in general. Consisting of flamboyance and colour - maybe it's time to bring back low waisted jeans and Juicy Couture tracksuits too? We'll just have to wait and see.
By: Isabel de Carteret