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

the European Sting Milestones

Join the Hive!

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

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

War of words in Davos over Eurozone’s inflation/deflation

Sweden’s forests have doubled in size over the last 100 years

We have a space debris problem. Here’s how to solve it

Climate negotiations on the road to a strong Paris agreement rulebook

Better housing means better health and well-being, stress new WHO guidelines

Trump’s Russian affair spills over and upsets Europe

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “If we do not do properly the Paris agreement, then all 16 remaining goals will be undermined”, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon cautions from Davos

3 megatrends for the factories of the future

EU economy: Between recession and indiscernible growth

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

It’s a week dedicated to all EU budgets; seven days that can make or break the Union

Five things everybody needs to know about the future of Journalism

FROM THE FIELD: Heeding the call for women’s rights around the planet

“Be aware where you put your I Agree signature on and something else”; now Facebook by default opts you in an unseen private data bazar

Crimea, a wicked game of political chess and a ‘big’ coincidence

These 4 Nordic countries hold the secret to gender equality

Bangladesh: Head of UN refugee agency calls on Asia-Pacific leaders to show ‘solidarity’ with Rohingya refugees

Vegans in France are using extreme tactics to stop people eating meat

Brexit update: Leave campaign leads race but undecided voters will determine the outcome of the EU referendum

We need greater protection for our oceans. We can’t let politics stand in the way


Re-thinking citizenship education: bringing young people back to the ballot box

The shrinking Arctic ice protects us all. It’s time to act

LED lights could stop turtles and birds from drowning in fishing nets

The Chinese film boom luring Hollywood’s stars

New migration pact highlights key role of business in protecting migrants, say UN experts

4 ways to cyberproof your business during mergers & acquisitions

Why and how did ISIS and Muslim fundamentalism gain momentum this year?

What makes America the world’s most competitive economy?

Attack on UN compound in Somalia may be ‘violation of international humanitarian law’

Draghi proposes timeframe for full Banking Union in five years

3 ways business leaders can build digital trust

Entrepreneurship and strategic planning: the enabler

Security Council extends mandate of UN Interim Force in Lebanon for a year

Online radio and news broadcasts: Parliament and Council reach deal

There are now four competing visions of the internet. How should they be governed?

French elections: by the time the EU economy revives and the migration crisis is solved extremists could take over Europe

“16+1” Cooperation injects new vigor into China-Europe cooperation

Horn of Africa: UN chief welcomes Djibouti agreement between Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia

UN chief hails Libyan leaders’ agreement to hold general election

Key Brazilian border crossing for Venezuela refugees reopens as asylum numbers pass last year’s total

Financial Transaction Tax: More money for future bank bailouts?

Guinea-Bissau needs ‘genuinely free and fair elections’ to break cycle of instability

Cum-ex tax fraud scandal: MEPs call for inquiry, justice, and stronger tax authorities

EU-China relations under investigation?

UN chief urges Hamas and Israel to ‘step back from the brink of another devastating conflict’ in Gaza

Parliament supports plans to improve quality of tap water and cut plastic litter

Rising political extremism in Europe escapes control

How can entrepreneurship tackle the migration crisis in the EU?

Migration crisis, a human crisis after all

Everything you need to know about Ireland’s economy (Post Brexit)

MWC 2016 LIVE: Gamelab founder talks Apple TV, VR and monetisation

Climate change and health: an everyday solution

Stricter rules and tougher sanctions for market manipulation and financial fraud

16 foods that are good for you – and the planet

Preparing the future today: World Health Organisation and young doctors

European banking stress tests 2014: A more adverse approach for a shorter banking sector

Conflicting statistics and bad banks haunt the Eurozone

EU-Turkey relations: Will Turkey manage to revive the EU accession process talks?

UK economy in dire straits: leading banks now officially plan to Brexit too

UN chief ‘deeply alarmed’ over military offensive in south-west Syria

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