Branding and visual identity for a fashion brand must translate across all the levels of market it operates in: whether that is luxury, high-end ready-to-wear, or the more accessible high-end fashion range. Brands who offer bespoke, made-to-measure pieces cater to luxury and high end fashion consumers whose expectation goes beyond quality to exclusivity and limited availability, and this includes brand insignia. For emerging high-end brands, the emphasis on quality is even greater as the customer will need extra reassurance to take the risk and buy. But can good identity design bridge a high-end fashion brand that also hosts diffusion lines?
Zekaryas Solomon is an emerging menswear designer who faces just such a challenge. Based in London, but born in Eritrea, the architect-turned-fashion designer is building up to the launch of his first RTW collection for S/S 14.
For the last two years, Zekaryas has worked as a bespoke menswear designer, winning awards (Winner of Best Male Fashion Designer 2012 BEFFTA , and Male Designer 2012 Fashion Finest, plus guest of honour at the Festival for African Fashion and Arts) and international press interest. He also has an international bespoke client base, who are eagerly awaiting the launch of his RTW menswear collection.
Through the evolution of this creative process, Zekaryas has developed high-end collections, falling naturally into ready-to-wear and then accessories, whilst retaining enough high-end clients to now consider catering for the luxury bespoke market.
Recent collaboration with a graphic designer, however, has provided unexpected inspiration for his move towards luxury, and, conversely, more readily available accessories. The collaboration produced a distinctive logo, combining simplicity, futurism, and African tradition – the Zekaryas Solomon brand signature.
The design treatments presented to Zekaryas proposed the logo as brushed steel and silver adhered to graphite fabric, embossed into grainy, tan leather, and contrast top-stitched onto natural fibres. Zekaryas felt this successfully spanned the suggested ready-to-wear, luxury, and accessories product ranges. And also presented some surprising opportunities.
“This design is so simple, and can be rolled out in so many different ways throughout my brand. It looks modern but always masculine and elegant. There are so many different materials and ways it can work. And the brushed steel and silver makes me wonder about developing men’s jewellery and watches…”
Of course, enduring brand insignia, brand identity and brand image and the overall essence of a brand – particularly of an emerging fashion designer – rely on far more than logos alone. But good quality, distinctive design is a great place to start.
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