Logo Mania: A call to action to our crisis of connection

gucci-2019.jpeg

(Trent Szmolnik, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by one of our readers, Dr. Paul L. Hokemeyer, an internationally renowned clinical and consulting psychotherapist. The opinions expressed within reflect only the writers’ views and not The European Sting’s position on the issue. 

At this year’s Fashion Week in Paris, the runways and sidewalks were littered not with luxurious materials, sublime tailoring and elegance that whispered elegance and
class, but rather with American super sized labels of fashion houses adorning cheaply made synthetic garments and shoes. It was if a derelict gang from East Los Angeles staged a coup d’Etat, overthrew the aristocracy of the Faubourg Saint-Honore and reclaimed the power of the under class.

While the brashness of today’s logo mania is new, the use of logos to enhance garments and accessories is not. During the late 1980 and early 1990’s, periods of economic expansion and relative political stability, logos were used to identify membership in an aspirational club, and hope of class and economic transcendence. In contrast, today’s logo mania uses designer labels as caricatures that speak to the anger and hostility that’s resulted from our zeitgeist of interpersonal disconnection and the narrative of political and economic betrayal. In this regard, the garishness of logo mania represents a primitive and archetypical struggle for power. It’s a visible and emotional reaction of people who’ve lost their voices; and who have appropriated the highest echelons of fashion to reclaim it.

This impudence of high fashion is call to action. It’s akin to a one-year-old child who trapped in her high chair overturns her portage to get her mother’s attention. Void of personal agency to change the world that entraps her, she acts out, “See me! Hear me! Validate my existence!” Her end game is not to be perceived as elegant or sophisticated. It’s to make a mess and create a disruption. If she can’t connect through compassion and empathy, she’ll do so through forcefulness, vulgarity and anger.

And in our modern world, we are living in a crisis of connection. The void between the have’s and the have not’s has become as vast as a harsh as Africa’s Saharan desert. Financial and political capital is being concentrated into fewer and fewer hands and used to destroy our planet, to build walls, cage children and create tools of human annihilation. Populism has swept the globe and has engulfed the United Kingdom in the flames of Brexit. America is suffering under the weight of the polarized politics and vulgarity of the Donald Trump presidency. Venezuela suffers in a humanitarian crisis and political betrayal. France is using political force to manage the voices of the Yellow Vests and the list goes on. At the core of these social disruptions is the inability of people robbed of their voice to feel validated and to have power in and agency over their lives.

This dynamic, wherein human beings need to feel a sense of place in the world, validated and with purpose has been one of the foundations of fêted philosophers and
psychological thought leaders for generations. The concept was articulated as “the will to power” in Fredrick Nietzsche’s work. Through it, he described the dynamic as a central catalyst in life, one that compulsively pulls human beings out of obscurity towards their highest possible positions. Unfortunately, the majority of human beings in our world economy struggling in our zeitgeist of class division and the annihilation of opportunities for personal expression and class transcendence, have had their will to power stifled and rendered impotent.

Logo mania, with its garish and exaggerated focus on the façade of supremacy is a current manifestation of our human will to power. It’s a war cry of the masses, human beings who’ve been marginalized in our economy of division, starving for dignity and purpose for their lives. It mirrors back their emptiness and primal need for a sense of place in a world that has discounted and ignored them. It’s desperate. It’s unattractive. But that’s the point. If you wont see me for me, I’ll show you the vulgarity of your privilege by adorning a storied label on a pair of plastic slide ons. It may make no sense from economic or aesthetic point of view, but that’s the point. It’s primal in nature and as such resonates outside the confines of logic and reason.

Is elegant? No. Can it be effective in uniting our fractured psyches and world? Maybe.

The point of logo mania is to create an emotional response to the split that exists between the ridiculous and the sublime, the have’s and the have nots, the powerful and the powerless. It highlights the painful reality of living in a world of unprecedented abundance while suffering in individual silos of scarcity and emotional pain. It’s disruptive. It’s unsettling. It’s visually offensive. It’s unresolved. It’s a mirror of our modern zeitgeist.

Is this to say we should whole-heartedly embrace the trend by going out and running up our credit cards with a pair of $2,000 Gucci trainers? Absolutely not. The key to marshaling the power inherent in logo mania is to cultivating awareness of its message and appropriating it into actionable steps to change the direction of our world. Rather than mindlessly buying into or discounting logo mania as a superficial trend that will pass, lets use it to address the pathological forces that it represents. So instead of spending money you don’t have on expensive designer goods, make a donation to a NGO that supports a cause you believe in. Organize your mates to fight against the inequities you see around you. Boycott companies that are raping and pillaging our planet or that fail to honor women and other minorities. Use social media to talk about their malfeasance. Instead of appropriating the label of another, find your own unique voice and broadcast it loudly. Reclaim your power rather than sitting by watching it erode.

About the author

Dr. Paul L. Hokemeyer is an internationally renowned clinical and consulting psychotherapist who works with individuals and families in the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and the European Union. His academic and clinical research has been published by Lambert Academic Press, The Journal of Wealth Management and is the topic of an upcoming book titled Fragile Power: How Our Focus on Wealth, Fame and Having It All Diminishes Our Humanity to be published by Hazelden/ Simon & Schuster, October, 2019. He will be speaking on the power of fashion at iCAAD, 03 May 2019

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Join the Hive!

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Has Germany rebuffed ECB on the banking union?

Migration and the climate crisis: the UN’s search for solutions

Counting spillovers from the fast track EU-US free trade agreement

Three UN workers killed following Benghazi car bomb attack, as Security Council meets in emergency session, honours their ‘ultimate sacrifice’

7 ways to break the fast fashion habit – and save the planet

‘I thought I’d never get out alive’ – the Muslim director who interviewed neo-Nazis

Can we balance conservation and development? Science says yes

New UN-Syrian Action Plan signals an ‘important day’ for child protection, says UN envoy

UN working with both sides, after hidden tunnels confirmed along Lebanon-Israel ‘Blue Line’

UN allocates $20 million in emergency funding, as Cyclone Idai disaster unfolds

Eurozone officials play with people’s deposits and minds

IFMSA and IPSF on the Health of Migrants and Refugees

Autumn 2018 Economic Forecast: sustained but less dynamic growth amid high uncertainty

Appalling overall unemployment in Eurozone at 20.6%

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte: “Europe must listen to the people”

Politics still matter in the US but not in Europe

Draghi hands over to banks €77.7 billion more

€5 billion of EU energy efficiency project money spent on “comfort”

The EU can afford to invest trillions in support of employment

We won’t win the online security war without people power

Why press freedom should be at the top of everyone’s agenda

Do the EU policies on agro-food smell?

The story of 2018, in 10 charts

Can North Korea and the U.S. strike a nuclear deal?

Business uncertainty rises as US grants only temporary exception to EU for steel and aluminium tariffs

The 5 stages of acceptance as robots enter the workforce

Fake news: What it is, and how to spot it

Cambodia: Giving back to UN peacekeeping

Merry Christmas from Erdogan, Putin, Mogherini and the Polish firefighter

Why education and accountability are important for developing countries?

Apple® logo (copyright: Apple)

Apple takes further step into music: EU Regulators formally approve its planned Shazam acquisition

Tsipras doesn’t seem to have learned his “almost Grexit” lesson and Greece faces again financial and political dead end

UN underscores the need to celebrate indigenous peoples, not confine them

Medical students, climate change and health: an unorthodox combination

Bid to raise $5.5 billion for millions of Syrians and their host communities

Climate action: 4 shifts the UN chief encourages Governments to make

European Business Summit 2013: Where Business and Politics shape the future

SCADA Security Conference 2017 in Prague, Czech Republic

Fisheries: Commission proposes measures to conserve stocks of deep-sea species in the North-East Atlantic

MasterCard at European Business Summit 2015: A focus on innovation will drive inclusive economic growth for Europe

IMF: Sorry Greece it was a mistake of 11% of your GDP

This app uses augmented reality to rewrite ‘herstory’

Leveraging digital for high quality internships

Human rights chief calls for international probe on Venezuela, following ‘shocking accounts of extrajudicial killings’

Relieving the suffering of dying: Home Palliative Care as a spiritual coping strategy

Yemen hospital airstrike under investigation amid resurgence of deadly cholera

New UN Global Climate report ‘another strong wake-up call’ over global warming: Guterres

UN rights chief ‘appalled’ by US border detention conditions, says holding migrant children may violate international law

Women to save Europe’s own labour resources

‘Deteriorating’ human rights in Belarus amounts to ‘wholescale oppression’: UN expert

Want more climate action? Let’s show how good a planet-friendly life can be

COP21 Breaking News_07 December: “Remove Roadblocks to Climate Action”

Women must have an equal share in politics, say MEPs and national MPs

How multistakeholder platforms can strengthen our multilateral system

Central African Republic: UN chief hails signing of new peace agreement

The banks dragged Eurozone down to fiscal abyss

Grave concern over escalating humanitarian crisis, casualties, displacement across northwest Syria: UN

10 things you – and your government – should know about competitiveness in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Ten UN peacekeepers killed in a terrorist attack in northern Mali

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s