Why people are cutting brand logos off their clothing

Loud branding can get in the way of a person's carefully-curated style 

Kashmira Gander
Friday 30 December 2016 11:01 GMT
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(Laur-Kalevi Tamm/iStock)

There was a time between the 1990s and mid-2000s when dressing head-to-toe in designer clothing emblazoned with logos was a sign of wealth and success. Now, people are using scalpels to slice logos off.

Online, bloggers are posting tutorials on how to remove the thread stitched into shirts and hats without leaving an unsightly outline or picking off the logo on sunglasses without leaving behind a blurry mess. Writing stamped on in vinyl, meanwhile, is wiped away with nail polish remover, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Watch YouTuber Piper2381 customise a hat by slicing off a logo.

In 2015, a report by Goldman Sachs revealed that millennials prefer clothing without labels or logos. When a person can transform themselves into a “brand” with some well-lit Instagram photos and considered Tweeting, essentially advertising someone else’s product on their chest or handbag can become less appealing.

In a similar vein, cutting off someone else's identity enables you to create and peddle your own. While allegiances to the quality of a brand’s clothing can stick, what the label symbolises - perhaps tweens or older shoppers – doesn’t always fit the image a person is trying to construct.

And in the age of austerity, logos have long been regarded as a little gauche. Instead, high quality-clothing, with the neat finishes in beautiful fabrics, speaks for itself.

Changing attitudes towards logos are encapsulated in a tongue-in-cheek meme captioned “The Evolution of Ralph Lauren” which predicts the brand’s logo will one day be so big that customers will end up turning into horses

In response to the move away from obvious branding, fashion houses have toned down their logos. Abercrombie & Fitch have banned the "A&F" on sweatshirts and hoodies once ubiquitous in schools and on college campuses in the US, while bag manufacturers Coach and Michael Kors have changed-up their designs as sales of logo-heaving products dipped, Business Insider reported.

Max Ilich, a 47-year-old consultant from Hampton, New Hampshire in the US, is among the fashion-conscious who are de-logoing their clothing.

“Why would I do someone else’s advertising for free?” Mr. Ilich told the Wall Street Journal.

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