Who Are You Wearing?
Never ask a woman her age, her weight or, apparently, which designer she’s wearing on the red carpet. Well, OK, you can ask about the last one—but you better have a darn good thought-provoking, earth-shattering, mind-bending follow-up question.
At least according to the #AskHerMore movement.
That meant red-carpet reporters at the 88th Annual Academy Awards this weekend felt the pressure to tiptoe around the usual “Who are you wearing?” question (despite the fact that red-carpet coverage essentially exists to answer this very question).
But maybe there’s a simple way around this issue: Branding. Logo placement. Imprinting. Answer the question before it’s even asked.
The solution would even be on trend—Vogue predicted the return of logos in 2016.
Some may think, “Wait, logomania left?” And it’s a fair point.
How many things do people wear that have a brand’s name or logo emblazoned on them? It’s hard to come across a pair of sneakers without a company’s logo on them. The most expensive handbags are never without identifying names or initials written on the bag (sometimes ad nauseam). Do Nike, Under Armour or Adidas even sell apparel that doesn’t prominently feature their logos? (I honestly don’t think they do.) The same can be asked with regards to Victoria’s Secret’s “Pink” line.
But some stores known for their logo-centric apparel (think Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale and American Eagle) have noticeably shifted away from it over the past few years. Abercrombie & Fitch, in fact, stopped making it altogether. Turns out, maybe too soon.
Forever 21, a fast-fashion retailer that seemed to push those very stores into the background, just launched its first branded apparel—shirts and sweatshirts with “Forever 21” prominently written on the chest.
White fabric with black letters. Nothing more. But people are going to buy it. They’re going to wear it. They’ll make it their own.
There’s strange power in branded apparel. It tells a story without having to say much more than a name. It’s a unifier, identifier, conversation starter—disclaimer, even.
“I like Nike.” “I shop at American Eagle.” “Michael Kors and I share very similar tastes.” “This shirt is so soft I don’t even care that it says, ‘Pink,’ all over it.” “I bought this Abercrombie & Fitch shirt because I love LFO.” (That’s why people buy Abercrombie & Fitch, right? Because they want to be just like the “Summer Girls” in LFO’s 1999 hit single?)
The return of logoed apparel seems like it can only be good news for the promotional products industry—the champion of branding.
As more people embrace logos back into their lives, more people will work their imprinted promotional apparel into their daily wardrobes. (And that means more impressions.)
It’s the ultimate show and tell—without ever having to say anything. And, who knows, maybe the solution the red carpet is looking for.
But, if someone actually asks, “Who are you wearing?” don’t get mad. Just embrace your inner Chris Pratt and have fun with your answer. After all, fashion should be fun.
Allison Ebner is content editor for Promo Marketing, NonProfit PRO and Print+Promo. Reference any animated movie, "Harry Potter" character or '80s band and you'll become fast friends.