Back in the early 00′s it was all about labels, yep that’s already gone long enough to revert back to. Labels were to be found on most things, blazen and proud. Think back to your GAP hoodie, a DKNY jumper, Evisu jeans, Stussy.
The ‘label’ was everywhere and people were happy to walk about as adverts for the brands they bought.
Once this design tactic was taken up by copy cats in market stalls and lesser brands and once people began to twig the ever so slight exploitation of it all brands has to get smarter and the trend of labels adorned all over clothing swiftly died down. It was replaced by a much more discrete way of branding with small image logos and certain colour ways rather than the name of the brand stamped across your chest.
Now though it seems that celebrity has taken over from the label with brands using images of known names on Ts and jumpers to sell stock and the well known people in question are getting their advertising for free instead.
The most recent here is Charlotte Free for Forever 21. Now don’t get us wrong, we think Charlotte Free is great and we are happy to have pictures of her on our Pinterest’s and Tumblrs but do we want to wear her? Not really. A few shares is as har as we want to go.
The thought of having Charlotte Free on a bag or a T-shirt just takes me back to the days when I was infatuated by Chesney Hawkes and wanted him on my lunch box or got Smash Hit stickers of bands and stuck them onto my school uniform. I was happy to be branded by the celebrities that I adored back then because I was young, impressionable, ever so slightly fanatical and was only just making out a personality of my own.
Now I find myself in my 20s being urged to return to a time when I was happy to spend money (or my parents money) on brand ‘someone else’.
I almost feel slightly resentful that I am supposed to be impressed to the point of parting with money with an item adorned with a teen model who’s key selling point is the colour of her hair.
I don’t think I’ll be buying a Charlotte free bag, and if you are under 13 I will forgive you if you do. However if you are over…. well.
Thankfully the entire new collection with Forever 21 is not C Free based. It does have some nice pieces in it other than the ones mentioned and you can see the whole lot here.