Filed under: Advertising & Branding | Tags: Branding, Culture, Fashion, Logos, Media Arts, Subversive
Brazilian designer duo Fernando and Humberto Campana have been commissioned to design a limited edition collection of Lacoste shirts for men and women. The brothers designed four shirts in all, but the most outrageous and inventive of all are the pieces entitled Alligator Lace, each in a limited edition of 12, which are composed entirely of the French clothier’s iconic embroidered logo. It’s a fascinating display of the mundane and workaday transformed into something exquisitely delicate, an oil-and-water contradiction between brashness and subtlety.
These are clearly statement-making art objects, and although I doubt it was the designers’ intent, they make an interesting commentary on branded objects and our relationships with them. We are human billboards when we don logo-bearing clothing, and both brand and wearer theoretically gain from this display: one exposure, the other cachet. The piece forces us to confront this issue, and challenges our willingness to glibly and eagerly cloak ourselves in a brand’s identity, as if to ask: That’s what we’re really buying ultimately, isn’t it? Why not be honest about it? Where is the virtue in feigned transcendence of the system? And while some branded items are more egregious than others in their logo-smattering, what is Alligator Lace, if not this readily-accepted notion taken to an ironic, satirical extreme? At what point does it become crass, or was it all along? Interesting questions, all.
designboom offers the following information on the shirts’ provenance:
“the shirts have been hand-made by the coopa-roca women’s co-operative in brazil, whose purpose is to provide positive working environments for its members, female residents of rocinha, brazil. improving the quality of life of the craftswomen and their families, the small production force is aimed at developing decorative craftwork productions through the revival of traditional brazilian craft techniques such as drawstring appliqué, crochet, knot work and patchwork.”
It’s intriguing that something so corporate would be crafted using the talents and traditional techniques of local artisans, bridging a cultural and generational gap in such a way as to highlight both the parallelism and disparity between the “traditional” and the modern practice of design and manufacture.
View the rest of the Campanas’ Lacoste collection at designboom.
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