84 responses

  1. AK
    March 16, 2016

    Of the pictured items, I only like the Bottega Veneta wallet and the the Alexander Wang bag, and even then, I’d have to pick up the bag to see if the studs made it heavy. Michael Kors’ name on everything is really awful. But even the LV is pretty bad. If my initials were LV, then it would a little inside joke. The ubiquitous brown LV makes me laugh it’s so unattractive. The giant CC reminds me of the tees I used to see teenagers wear.

    03/16/16
    8:46 am
    Lisa said...

    @AK, I don’t care for the ubiquitous brown LV much myself, except on luggage or luggage-like items, and then I appreciate the heritage.

  2. the gold digger
    March 16, 2016

    I find most logos to be tacky, so unless they are sewn on to an item, like a purse, I remove them. All I want is a well-made product.

    (Unfortunately, I assumed Kate Spade was in that category, but the purse I got from an eBay seller turned out to be flawed, with the leather flaking off the handles within a week. Do not buy Kate Spade.)

    03/16/16
    8:40 am
    tamera said...

    @the gold digger, it was possibly fake? I have some very decent Kate Spade bags that are a little older and holding up fine. I’m very hesitant to buy name brand bags or shoes on eBay – I ended up with a fake pair of Roger Vivier flats once!

    03/16/16
    10:29 am
    Lisa said...

    @the gold digger, Yes, that would be my thought too, that it was maybe a fake.

    03/16/16
    4:01 pm
    the gold digger said...

    @the gold digger, it is possible that it is fake. (The seller had very high ratings, so I didn’t think it would be a problem.) I tried to return it, but the seller accused me of faking the photos and would not respond to me after that. I should take it to a Kate Spade store and have them look at it.

    I have sent a letter to the CEO of Kate Spade along with photos and the name of the eBay seller. If the seller is selling fakes, Kate Spade can go after them. If it is a real Kate Spade – well, if I were Kate Spade, I would want to know if we had bad product being carried around!

  3. Kerry Steele
    March 16, 2016

    I despise oversized logos on anything. In my opinion, flaunting an expensive item is tacky. Michael Kors drives me nuts. I see the products and their obnoxious logo everywhere and when you can buy it at Marshall’s there really is no cache any longer.

    03/16/16
    8:41 am
    Rhonda Gilmour said...

    @Kerry Steele, Yes indeed, Kerry–flaunting luxury goods with big logos is tacky, what I’d expect to see from the newly-monied who don’t know any better. My goodness, what I snob I am, especially for a woman of limited means! I’ll only advertise for a clothing company if paid to do so–and no one’s ever offered.

    03/16/16
    10:31 am
    Lisa said...

    @Kerry Steele, Rhonda Gilmour, I’m starting to realize that writing this blog has gotten me more interested in fashion as a business, and that in turn has made me more tolerant of logos, and interested in what companies do with them.

  4. Tricia
    March 16, 2016

    Michael Kors is the WORST offender! I love many of his handbags but refuse to carry one with his name on it. I dislike ALL visible logos. Why should I pay big bucks to advertise for a designer??

    03/16/16
    10:32 am
    Lisa said...

    @Tricia, Exactly how I felt before I started this blog and fell deep into fashion! But if a company is going to do the logo thing, my goodness why not do it well?

  5. Mardel
    March 16, 2016

    Interesting. I agree with a lot of your post, but have struggled with LV for a long time, at first preferring those pieces where the log is discrete. And I find the ubiquitous brown LV bag to be so overexposed it has become tacky. But then I have a pair of LV ballet flats with a logo that I adore, and which are supremely comfortable, so my affections may be situational. Even though it is more noticeable, I prefer the black bag with the big white chanel logo, to the gray one. And I can’t stand Michael Kors logos, I may have to deconstruct just to decipher my own reactions.

    03/16/16
    10:34 am
    Lisa said...

    @Mardel, I like that black bag with the big white Cs best of all the Chanel bags, which completely weirded me out the first time I realized it. And I think it’s just a really great design.

  6. RoseAG
    March 16, 2016

    I have a Kors tote and I ended up taking the logo fob-thing off because it was always swinging and knocking into my glass storm door as I swished into the house. Perhaps it would be useful if you need to whack an attacker on the subway.

    03/16/16
    11:42 am
    Lisa said...

    @RoseAG, Ha! Perhaps that was the intent all along?

  7. Barbara W.
    March 16, 2016

    Re: Michael Kors, I agree about the tag but what compounds the error is the repetition – stamping the complete name on the leather itself. “Michael Kors, okay? MK! Michael Kors!”

    Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

    03/16/16
    11:44 am
    Lisa said...

    @Barbara W., Hahahahaha! I didn’t even notice that M K could be pronounced as the abbreviation for OK!

  8. Susan B (une femme)
    March 16, 2016

    Love those Bao Bao totes you linked to, saw them all over London last year. I agree the “MK” is ugly, and removed the tag from the one bag I bought. Though I don’t like logos for the sake of logos, I’m not immune to a bit of status brand love, and the LV monogram (except the mish-mash ones) and interlocking Chanel C’s always look elegant to me. Also, the Goyard print has grown on me over the years.

    03/16/16
    1:46 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Susan B (une femme), How funny, I just saw it on La Garçonne and liked it – I had no idea they were a thing! I’m not immune to status brand love either, after years of denying it;).

  9. Poppy B.
    March 16, 2016

    I was amazed when I discovered the prices and beauty of Michael Kors’s clothes. All I really knew was the Michael/Michael Kors bags, which I loathe because they are almost always knock offs of more expensive bags.

    I’m a recent convert to LV. For years I wrote the monogram canvas off as tacky. Then when the Multicolored line was about to be discontinued, I fell madly in love with it and all things Marc Jacobs-era LV. I discovered that the Vuitton monogram logo dates to the 19th century and reflects that era’s love of Japanoiserie. I thought that was just so damned cool.

    Pre-LV, I sneaked up on Chanel on little cat feet. My first Chanel was a reissue bag. There is the tiniest logo on the clasp. Other than that, it’s like BV–you have to know. After I carried it for a while, I became OK with the CC logo, because I loved the company.

    Then there’s Hermes, whose logos I also excuse. Why? Because of their design and fabrication excellence.

    So here’s what it boils down to, for me: as an abstraction, logos are vulgar. But once you start to really know and love a company’s products, they become less of a deal-breaker.

    Great post, as usual!

    03/16/16
    1:49 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Poppy B., “So here’s what it boils down to, for me: as an abstraction, logos are vulgar. But once you start to really know and love a company’s products, they become less of a deal-breaker.” A good deal of truth in that. And, in my case, the more I come to know and love fashion itself, the same is true.

  10. Linda Pakravan
    March 16, 2016

    I am no fan of in your face logos but confess to being an occasional hypocrite. I once had a multi color LV, similar to the one pictured. I liked the color splash against the white. My daughter thought it was absolutely repulsive. It went to consignment. The things we do for love. I have a monster of a BleuMarine satchel/doctor? bag with a noticeable but small plaque with the logo in script — bordered by CZs. The entire bag exhibits excellent workmanship. Oddly, I receive compliments from both genders whenever I use it. My favorite bag is an older, somewhat slim but nicely proportioned Antonio Pernas, very ladylike. The logo is embossed but you have to be up close to read it. My now vintage Charles Jourdan quilted suede bag has its logo on the inside, no give aways on the exterior. Bravo, but enquiring minds have asked if it’s a Chanel.

    I’m not sure why but I despise Gucci. I’ve received two as gifts, returned both.

    Where are you on Laboutine’s red soles?

    03/16/16
    1:53 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Linda Pakravan, Your bags sound really interesting – and to me like the kind of things independent design minds carry. I used to feel that way about Gucci, but their new line is pretty cool.

    And Louboutins? I loved my Simple 70s. The red sole and all. But they were beautiful, classic, just sexy enough, and the red sole became them. Red sole for the sake of red sole, heels to the ceiling, no thank you.

  11. Jen on the Edge
    March 16, 2016

    I go out of my way to avoid logos. No LV, no MK, no Tori with the great big T. I am picky about Coach and will only carry/wear it if the logos are subtle to the point of invisibility.

    Part of it is that I don’t want to be a walking advertisement, but the other issue is that I don’t wear gold or brass. I prefer silver or platinum because they are calmer, more subtle. I find that big gold logos are just simply aesthetically offensive.

    And don’t even get me started on the Ralph Lauren polo player on a horse…

    03/19/16
    9:59 am
    Lisa said...

    @Jen on the Edge, Ah the polo player. He deserves an entire post all to himself.

  12. Bungalow Hostess
    March 16, 2016

    Subtlety is probably the best way to advertise a logo. It should not overpower whatever it is stamped on….funny that you should mention this as I am having trouble finding my husband polo shirts for our summer boating season because they all have logos and he refuses to wear one on his shirt.
    My newest cross body bag has a distinct Bottega Vanetta look as the leather us woven. It is by a Canadian company called Maggie but many people think it is BV.
    Michael Kors bags were on sale at Costco last year….

    03/16/16
    10:22 am
    Patsy said...

    @Bungalow Hostess, L.L. Bean! No logo, excellent quality.

    03/16/16
    12:17 pm
    Wendelah said...

    @Bungalow Hostess,

    Michael Kors sued Costco for claiming falsely that the goods being offered were his. I don’t know the outcome of the suit.

    03/16/16
    12:41 pm
    Mary anne said...

    @Bungalow Hostess, I second LL Bean for good quality and logo-less polos.

    03/19/16
    10:01 am
    Lisa said...

    @Bungalow Hostess, You prompted me to check and I LL Bean now has handbags, or at least one of them, and I think it’s a perfect embodiment of their brand. http://bit.ly/1S9ZpWR

  13. Linda G.
    March 16, 2016

    I find the original Louis Vuitton signature monogram print–its incorporation of the founder’s initials with the stylized flower motif–quite beautiful. The initials medallion, as it repeats with the same frequency as the flower medallions, becomes a design element that is aesthetically pleasing on its own (of course, my opinion only). To me, that’s distinctly different than the slapped-on MK badge that Kors does, or an all-over repetition of *just* initals, with no additional design element. I also love the LV Damier checkerboard pattern. For logos designed in the 19th century, both have aged without looking dated. Status bag? I don’t care. I just think they are beautiful objects. Lisa, like you, I also love the Gucci stripe and the Prada triangle. It’s an art thang.

    03/19/16
    10:02 am
    Lisa said...

    @Linda G., It’s an art thang! And up close, I agree, the LV signature is beautiful. Although I don’t much care for the brown/mustard coloration.

  14. Noelle
    March 16, 2016

    There is always the alternative of buying handbags from artisans on Novica or Etsy. Beautiful craftsmanship and no logo whatsoever.

    03/16/16
    6:06 pm
    Sewing?obrarian said...

    @Noelle,
    Yes, I buy bags from a small company in Northern California that does beautiful work and makes their products without logos. I do have one Kors bag, but the logo was detachable, and I gave it to my niece whose initials are MK. ;)

    03/19/16
    10:03 am
    Lisa said...

    @Noelle, Yes. Absolutely.

  15. Theodore Bouloukos
    March 16, 2016

    Lisa, I love the way you mine the nooks and crannies of fashion and culture, and this piece draws to mind much of my own sentiments to the “monogramization” [sic], if you will, that’s become all too vulgar. One gets the sense that Michael Kors, in attempting to appeal to what used to be called the Jet Set, thought it essential to come up with a moniker, when, in fact, he and his line are too nouveau to pull it off. How I recall the tacit currency of my father’s Gucci belts and shoes in the 1970s, when few wore them, much less were able to identify them by those intertwined G’s; as well the Givenchy quadrant of G’s on the toes of my mother’s wedge espadrilles bore a subtlety that Tory Burch simply cannot approximate, even as I tip my hat to her sui-generis font. Louis Vuitton, such a shame, the way the lady became a tramp. Oh, I could go on!

    03/19/16
    10:04 am
    Lisa said...

    @Theodore Bouloukos, Thank you for the endorsement. I wonder, however, if MK was targeting the Jet Set or rather the mass audience of Project Runway, which would be a great deal broader than the Set?

  16. Wendelah
    March 16, 2016

    “Mr. Kors, you have let me down.” Really?

    I want to be clear that I don’t have a horse in this race because I don’t purchase luxury goods.

    But I want to understand what’s so offensive about Michael Kors that you’ve devoted a column to railing at him (and defending the designers you still love). In the good old days, Michael Kors used to make clothing that you wanted to buy but that most people couldn’t afford. In addition to that line, he now also manufactures clothing that more people can afford to purchase, and that this development in your view has something to do with a reality television show he was on? Is he a sell-out for making lower priced polyester clothing for the masses and/or for putting his (admittedly ugly) logo on it, thereby lowering the cachet of the higher-priced line?

    The reason most designers give for not wanting to make plus-sized high-end clothing is that they don’t want their brand associated with plus-sized customers. By “plus-sized,” I mean any size larger than a missy 10, of course, because that’s an XL in designer-speak. Is there a similar taboo in place that high end designers who go mass market are breaking?

    You’re right. It is impossible to separate out the design element of a logo like Chanel’s from your love for the designer(s). I have no love for any of these brands therefore the logos all look equally hideous to me. Sorry.

    I’ll go on record and defend MICHAEL Michael Kors because the company used to make the best plus-size jeans. They fit! They didn’t stretch out! They were long enough (but not too long), back when most inseams on plus-size pants were two inches too short for me. (Because fat women only come in one height. Sigh.) I bought a couple of back-up pairs back in the day, which is a good thing because he doesn’t appear to make them anymore.

    He also seems to give away a lot of his money to charity. That alone redeems him in my eyes.

    03/17/16
    4:56 pm
    KC said...

    @Wendelah, I don’t have any opinion on Michael Kors, but I think if a designer or label has “taught” people that a particular brand will deliver high quality materials and construction, then it’s somewhat dishonorable to then use that expectation/name recognition to sell low quality materials with poor construction.

    Personally, I like sub-lines for new ventures – where they clearly give this different creature a new brand name, possibly with a through-or-by the-designer’s-original-brand after the new brand name. This can communicate “not exactly our regular stuff” (poly instead of silk, perhaps, or not-leather) while still allowing the name recognition and design inspiration from the higher-quality goods.

    And yes, anyone who makes clothes that fit more people gets points. :-) But anyone who breaks a social contract in terms of allowing shoddy quality to be attached to their previously guarantee-of-better-quality name loses points, and I don’t really know how the math works out, but I think generally that losing points means you disappoint people, no matter where exactly you started. I’m pretty sure the objection here is not to the availability to a wider range of people but to the precipitous quality slide that tends to [or perhaps always does?] accompany the wider-scale lower-price-point mass-production.

    But oh, for a wider range of inseams…

    03/17/16
    9:04 pm
    Noelle said...

    KC,

    Breaking a social contract?

    Is there a rule that says a lower cost item in general is automatically badly constructed?

    There have been studies that show that simply isn’t the case. Some lower-cost brands are very well constructed and some luxury brands are not so well constructed.

    03/19/16
    10:08 am
    Lisa said...

    @Wendelah, Kors let me down not because he has a lower-priced line. After all, I am one of UNIQLO’s greatest fans. Kors let me down, and I will say this very bluntly, because given the design chops we know he has, I feel he used none of them on his bags and slapped on a logo only to profit from his television fame.

    And, I’d say you do have a dog in this hunt. Kors made good plus sized jeans, you have good associations with his brand. That kind of brand marketing is the best sort. We become loyal to brands that deliver on their promise, and we make a place in our hearts, sometimes, for their marks themselves.

  17. Mary anne
    March 16, 2016

    A few years ago I bought a nice brown M K tote. Good leather, nice shape. First thing I did when I got home, remove ugly hold hang tag!

    03/16/16
    12:44 pm
    Mary anne said...

    @Mary anne, gold, not hold

    03/19/16
    10:08 am
    Lisa said...

    @Mary anne, Smart of Kors to make them removable. He’s clearly a very bright guy.

  18. Tamara L.
    March 16, 2016

    I love hearing your thoughts on this topic! I have always eschewed visible logos of any kind and felt myself some sort of iconoclast, particularly in the southern city where I live. Frankly even the Chanel logo is too much, though I can see it is relatively well-done, and don’t even get me started on that LV bag, the one that looks like a cartoon burped all over it. Perhaps surpisingly one of my favorite and most used bags (having carried it for a decade)is a Coach, which shockingly has no external logo. One thing I’ve noticed, it seems like the higher the pricepoint in certain brands, the more discreet the logo. I guess the thinking being if you pay less for a bag you should have to provide free advertising in compensation. Yuck. My newest acquisition is a Mulberry which has no lettered logo, just a tiny, pretty little tree icon on the clasp.

    03/19/16
    10:10 am
    Lisa said...

    @Tamara L., Love Mulberry. And I read an article saying that the decades of big logos did bring luxury good makers to downsize their marks.

  19. Mumbai
    March 16, 2016

    Logos, logos everywhere and I can’t see it anymore. I wont be their walking advertisement
    and pay a fortune for their logos.

    03/19/16
    10:14 am
    Lisa said...

    @Mumbai, Logos have no value, if and when they are designed only to be paid for, not to be beautiful, or to remind us of history. That’s my current opinion:).

  20. Kathy
    March 16, 2016

    I do not care for any visible logos on anything I wear, but I will admit that I enjoy packaging that reflects the brand- Tiffany’s blue box, Cartier’s red and gold. But beyond that, my brand choices must be my little secret

    03/19/16
    10:15 am
    Lisa said...

    @Kathy, That’s a very nice way to have your luxury brand cake and eat it too!

  21. Charlene
    March 16, 2016

    I have owned one MK bag. I cut that big gold thing off with heavy cutters. It took me awhile because it was not attached by leather but by the big tacky gold chain. Then I liked and carried the bag. For one season. I’m with you 100% on all of this.

    03/19/16
    10:15 am
    Lisa said...

    @Charlene, xoxox. I love the thought of taking big chain cutters to the bag. Ha!

  22. QueenieBee925
    March 16, 2016

    I concur. I support artisans and don’t carry logo bags. Who wants to be a cookie cutter?

    03/19/16
    10:16 am
    Lisa said...

    @QueenieBee925, Who indeed? A small point of precision, many luxury manufacturers employ artisans, but an independent artisan is sui generis.

  23. Kathy
    March 16, 2016

    I look at logos (and always have) as you do. If they are an attractive design element, I like them, if they’re ugly, then I don’t. I don’t find anything inherently offensive about logos, or carrying bags that are identifiable by their logo. I bought Goyard long before it was even available in the U.S. I loved the design and function of the tote bag. Now, I think they’re just too pricey, but that’s a whole other subject. I’m not a fan of Chanel, not because of the logo, but because I don’t like quilting, for me anyway. I often carry a Celine bag, and frankly, although there’s no real logo, it’s just as identifiable as being a pricey handbag because it’s a very common handbag in the area where I live.
    As for Michael Kors, I’m in complete agreement, and don’t like it when designers try to corner all parts of the market, besides the “logo” being really hideous. I’m not really a fan of the Tory Burch logo either – it’s not an integrated part of the design, to my eye.

    03/19/16
    10:17 am
    Lisa said...

    @Kathy, I think you’re very clear about your aesthetic, and don’t give a hoot, in a good way, about how anyone else might see the goods you wear and carry.

  24. Susan D.
    March 16, 2016

    I occasionally go hand bag shopping and wander into the Michael Kors shop here in Dallas. Several times, I have found a bag I really like, but could not purchase due to a very ugly large logo. I always explain this to the salesperson and they always say that they understand and that others have said the same thing. I just think it is a case of a logo very badly done. No one wants a big honking logo I wear Hermes scarves but I am always careful to tie them in such a way that the name does not show.

    03/19/16
    10:19 am
    Lisa said...

    @Susan D., It is exactly that, a logo very badly done. How interesting that others like the bags but not the logos. I wonder if there’s any chance Mr. Kors himself might get involved and create a new one, or at least evolve this one.

  25. Yvonne Gray
    March 16, 2016

    I dislike most logos and would definitely put Michael Kors at the top. The poor Burberry print has been completely depleted in style by the many, many fakes. Same with LV bags, that when worn with rubber thongs, ill fitting track pants etc scream fake. My comment to my daughter is – if I am going to wear a prominent logo from anyone – I expect them to pay me for the advertisement. Logos I like for design purposes to name a few would be Mulberry, Gucci horsebit, Longchamp. The bag I am using at the moment is Il Bisonte and it has a lovely impressed logo. Yvonne

    03/19/16
    10:20 am
    Lisa said...

    @Yvonne Gray, Oh Burberry, yes! I read that in fact they had to pull back their own use of the plaid so as to regain the good brand associations of Burberry’s history.

  26. Millie
    March 16, 2016

    This is an interesting post. I agree with your points, and am curious as to what you think of the Goyard pattern? They are a company that eschews advertisement, but the pattern is distinctive (although not as recognized as the Burberry plaid). I like the pattern, but can’t decide whether I want to carry something that is so “branded”. Also, I love your blog. Thank you.

    03/19/16
    10:13 am
    Lisa said...

    @Millie, You are very, very welcome. I am not a big Goyard fan, per se, but I don’t object. Did you know that Liberty of London has now got a line of patterned totes? I just saw these. And these, I rather love.

  27. Natalie
    March 17, 2016

    The only thing I like is the Bottega Veneta woven leather. It’s not obviously branded, and I love the look. My bias against branded goods runs deep – my family has always avoided logos as much as possible, although we never went as far as the family friend who took the time to pick out the stitches attaching a tiny crocodile to his polo shirts! Years ago I used the old classic Coach bags , but took the little leather hang tag off so there was no visible logo. Today, if I wanted to spend money on a fancy bag, I would get one from a local craftsperson who makes beautiful leather things.

    03/19/16
    10:34 am
    Lisa said...

    @Natalie, I’ve always been a sucker for that woven leather too. And I still have one old classic Coach bag and yearn for the ones I gave away…

  28. Caren
    March 17, 2016

    Hey my project to elevate my taste (only one way but up) has paid off or at least seems to have been worthwhile. I think the MK logos are tacky! Is tacky a tacky word and does it reveal my lack of waspishness? oh well. so glad to know I am not out in the wilderness thinking MK, Emperor has no clothes

    03/19/16
    10:35 am
    Lisa said...

    @Caren, High WASPs, I can assure you, are quite OK with the word “tacky.” No clothes indeed

  29. MarieP
    March 17, 2016

    Coach, for me. Old Coach, that is, with the lovely, unlined leather and the simple hang tag that can be removed at your discretion. I also like Coach’s newer Legacy line with the canvas lining and the tassels. This line also has a small stamped logo in silver or gold but I can live with that.

    03/19/16
    10:36 am
    Lisa said...

    @MarieP, I like the tassels too:).

  30. dottoressa
    March 17, 2016

    I’ll check the quality and must admit that I’m vain,I like to have things without logo ,recognized only by connoisseurs. It is my answer to “logoization ” here ( beside:”who’s bag is this?”-“Mine”!)But have nothing against simple,subtle and nice logo (like longchamp f.e.,or discreet CC or anything discreet and/or traditional ). Some of them really are a piece of art (even unknown or not pricey brands,it has nothing with the money)
    But I love some LV vernis bags and still wear one of them,from time to time. It doesn’t scream “I have LV bag and I can afford it”
    It all might be snobbish ( but also connected with fakes,mass production and tastless exaggeration of logos)
    A couple of years ago I liked Kors big tote,it was nice,good leather and colours,I didn’t buy it ,but if I did,this additional logo will go off!
    Dottoressa

    03/19/16
    10:37 am
    Lisa said...

    @dottoressa, In a way, all these logos now mean that when we carry a bag made of visibly high quality materials without a logo, we are identifying ourselves even so.

  31. Jane
    March 17, 2016

    It is difficult to talk about this without sounding like a snob. That said, I like things that are well designed and well made, especially if the design and quality holds up to time. I love the classic Cross bags before the brand went out of business (they may have revived it) – remember Grace Kelly’s Cross overnight bag in the movie Rear Window? It was a small boxy purse from which she whipped out her elegant nightgown! My favorite evening bag is one designed by Paloma Picasso – black leather with a small gold X on the front flap and a heavy gold chain strap. I am also fond of the brand Oreton – beautifully constructed leather bags with gorgeous hardware. And I’ll always be fond of an old Etienne Aigner purse shaped like a fisherman’s basket with a long cross body strap. I like some of the LV bags but not all – I prefer the older ones. The BV bags are so easily identified by their woven construction that they don’t need a logo. The classic bags never go out of fashion and they don’t need to flash any logos.

    03/17/16
    11:42 am
    Jane said...

    @Jane, “Hold up to time” not “holds”

  32. victoire
    March 17, 2016

    Speaking of handbags, in Wednesday Martin’s recently published memoir, “Primates of Park Avenue,” there’s a fairly amusing chapter on handbags as markers (and weapons) entitled “Going Native: Mommy Wants a Birkin.”

    But other than using logos as merchandising machines or socio-economic markers, what purpose do they serve? They are not always a guarantee of quality (those logo’d flats I threw out because they fit badly and squeaked) or country of origin (that French designer bag made in a Chinese factory). Why do consumers fall for them?

    The real joy is finding something you like, at a price you are willing to pay, that says “YOU” rather than something shrieks a logo.

    03/19/16
    10:39 am
    Lisa said...

    @victoire, The other purpose they serve, and all-too-rarely, is to remind us of what the brand promises, and what its history has delivered. LV’s history as a trunk maker, Chanel’s history as the undertaking of a single woman, and so on. The real joy is finding something that say “You,” and occasionally the story of a brand adds to that statement.

  33. hil
    March 17, 2016

    @Wendelah, veblen goods.

    It’s difficult to extract oneself from one’s culture and the subsequent inherent marketing, but one should attempt to define “taste” while defining “vulgar”. It’s all so subjective isn’t it?

    Could you explain to a secluded rain forest tribe why Celine bags are prized over MK? Or Walmart?

    03/19/16
    10:48 am
    Lisa said...

    @hil, I think we can separate the design and construction of goods from the effect of a brand and its logo. So, Céline’s bags, most of them, are to my eye beautifully designed. The color, the proportion. The materials are substantial, and pleasant to the touch. The construction is solid, the craftsmanship visible. So that’s a set of reasons, often, to prize their bags over MK or Walmart versions. The issue is, how much better is Céline? And that, I imagine, is where the question of brand matters. And in a brand, there’s the intrinsic, personal value, i.e. I know it’s Céline and I like the idea of that, vs. extrinsic, status-related value, i.e. I want everyone to KNOW I am someone who has a Céline bag.

  34. Meg
    March 19, 2016

    Have you felt like prestige logos have lost their cache? I do. Global economy. Really impressive rip offs. Mommy bloggers.
    Nothing is as special as it was back in the day. I yearn for days of less stuff, better made.

    Though “Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake” (Quinlen) makes one think about material goods.

    03/19/16
    10:50 am
    Lisa said...

    @Meg, Less stuff, better made, we can hope. I’d be curious about the impact of returning to more craftsmanship on the global economy, and world hunger, but maybe it would be for the good. You liked the book?

  35. Connie
    March 19, 2016

    I agree about logos. I did find a leather MK tote in camel with lighter trim. The only “branding” was the tacky MK hanging logo, which I promptly removed. Now have a tote I can enjoy carrying.

    At Marshall’s I found a lovely off white summer leather bag. Italian, not a brand I knew, and only one hanging ‘logo’ to remove. Have been looking for a light summer bag for ages so was thrilled to find this one.

    03/19/16
    10:51 am
    Lisa said...

    @Connie, That kind of find is the best. All the joy, none of the issues of show and display.

  36. Meg
    March 19, 2016

    I listened to it. Listening makes chores easier. Quinlen has probably 25 years on me so I appreciate perspective. Plus she’s pretty cool lady.

  37. LA CONTESSA
    March 20, 2016

    MOTHER KIRKPATRICK…….is HOW I LOOK AT THAT LOGO.As that is my last NAMe but I AM WITH YOU!
    I think they are AWFUL!
    I completely FORGOT he USE to make nice clothing!This reminds me as to what happened with PIERRE CARDIN years ago……..it was a LUXERY item then went to the MASSES and became PLASTIC!

  38. Marina
    March 20, 2016

    Luxury Vinyl.
    And of course, Coach destroyed their own brand with poor quality and tacky designs.

  39. Naomi
    March 20, 2016

    I hate almost all logos. Coach bags might be acceptable but are ruined by obvious logos. Talbots, of all places, had a lovely plain cotton cardigan which they annihilated with a stitched butterfly at the hem. Isn’t my purchase enough? I absolutely refuse to serve as a walking billboard.

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