They unify a brand's vast range of products and help create a loyal customer following. There are many different types of labelling, but here are a few current trends that are prevalent throughout a number of high street brands.
A classic form of labelling adopted by many brands these days is the side tab. A leading example of this would have to be Levi’s, and how their signature red tab became a trademark feature of their denim range and is now seen throughout their product range. By adding a side tab to the garments pocket or side seam helps reaffirm the brand name and also allows another opportunity for that little bit of magic. This addition of a little signature touch helps engage with the customer on a deeper level.
These touches also appear on over-hem tabs as well. They include a variety of things, including subtle brand patterns, some tone of voice or a nod towards the brand’s heritage. They are the kind of details that the customer may not notice immediately, it may take a month or so to discover, but add a thoughtful and considered touch to the product. These are incredibly popular on independent streetwear brands right through to well established high street names as seen on this Jack Jones t-shirt.
Another consistent trend for many brands is to nod towards their heritage. Whether this is through a seasonal collection, where they celebrate the brand’s roots and core values. This can be done in a very subtle way, like on the back of a over-hem tab, as seen on the shirt above, or with a distinctive patch, usually consisting of bold logos and typography from the brand’s archive. A popular way to brand products is a retrospectively stitched patch. Approaches vary depending on the brand, from a utilitarian aesthetic like Carhartt, to simple, softer patches like on the neck of this Shore Leave top.
With this method of labelling having been present for a number of years, we wonder what will happen next. Will brands continue with this to unify their products? Will they keep looking back at their heritage, or will they look at different ways of engaging with their audience - something we’ve not seen before, maybe a new material or fixing technique, a new way to express their brand’s personality…