December 2, 2014
By Lauren Bradshaw
CHANEL CC TO GUCCI GG: THE STORIED HISTORY BEHIND YOUR FAVORITE LOGOSSHOP ICONIC LOGO GIFTS
They’re the epitome of luxury, iconography that symbolizes and celebrates the long, lauded history behind our favorite fashion houses — but how did designers first dream up the Chanel CC or Gucci GG? In honor of our 12 Days Of Gifting sale series, we’re delving into the history behind the two beloved logos, along with a long-forgotten technique that’s experiencing a resurgence this season: Louis Vuitton’s Malletage. Read on to find out how these three signature looks came to be — and how to know if they’re authentic. Then browse our holiday gifting sale, Give Icons, to score your own monogrammed piece of fashion history.
1. Chanel’s Signature CC
The Inspiration: Rumors abound around the origin of the interlocked C’s — was it taken from the CC insignia of Queen Claude of France? An homage to Coco Chanel’s paramour, Boy Capel? “The city of Westminster even features lampposts with a CC logo, so it was long thought that they were installed at the order of the second Duke of Westminster who was Coco Chanel’s lover in the 1920s,” notes Graham Wetzbarger, Senior Director of Authentication. However, the official story according to the fashion house is that Coco Chanel designed the logo herself, culling inspiration from the stained glass of a chapel in Aubazine (a monastery where she grew up as an orphan). The design started out as a singular “C” placed on a 1921 perfume bottle, which evolved into a double monogram that continues to be the symbol for the Chanel today.
Where You’ve Seen It: On the classic double flap bag, earrings, bangles, knits and the rest of the usual — and unusual — suspects, like Chanel boats and rollerblades.
How To Tell It’s The Real Deal: “The right C should cross on top of the left C, and then appear behind the bottom curve of the left C as if they are intertwined like a link — many counterfeiters get this wrong,” says Wetzbarger. “Also examine the shape of the Cs. They should be almost perfectly circular — not ovular — and identical in size.”
2. Gucci’s GG Insignia
The Inspiration: Guccio Gucci, naturally, though the iconic GG logo didn’t come into play until roughly a decade after the fashion house founder passed away. Using his initials, the GG first appeared in the early sixties on fastenings for bags made in Gucci’s own forge in Florence, before expanding into monograms on the brand’s canvas luggage. Today it can be found on everything from Gucci handbags to watches to shoes and other signature pieces — even the Gucci Fiat 500.
Strangest Place You’ve Seen It: Thanks to the provocative Tom Ford era, the GG monogram appeared in unusual places, like on one male model’s G-string.
How To Tell It’s The Real Deal: The left G should face upright and forward, while the right G should be upside down and backward. Pay particular attention to the GG canvas. “When examining the GG canvas, the Gs should be plump — not elongated or squashed,” notes Wetzbarger. “The negative space between the two Gs should be a darker color than the body, and the overall quality of the weave should be even and smooth.”
3. Louis Vuitton’s Malletage
The Inspiration: LV luggage. Malletage is a technique — used in early Louis Vuitton trunks — that involves applying ribbons to the inside of the trunk lids to create a diamond pattern, or Losange design. “The Losange detailing in trunks was done to utilize every square inch of packable space,” says Wetzbarger. “Women might tuck gloves, stockings or hat pins against the inside cover.”
Nicolas Ghesquière mimicked this look for his debut Fall 2014 collection for Louis Vuitton as an homage to the brand’s heritage. He said: “This initial collection tells a tale of expertise made possible by innovative techniques . . . Living proof that today’s ‘timeless’ was at one time seen as innovative.”
Where You’ve Seen It: On the exterior of the coveted Malletage Alma BB from the Fall 2014 collection, but also in the inner sole of the designer’s shoes from Louis Vuitton’s Cruise 2015 collection.
How To Tell If It’s The Real Deal: “Examine the Losange design,” suggests Wetzbarger. “The ribbons should cross each other in an over/under pattern across the lambskin body. The diamonds will all be the same size and dimensions, while the top stitching will be perfect with no breaks in the thread.”
All items are pre-owned and consigned to The RealReal. Trademarks are owned by their respective brand owners. No brand owner endorses or sponsors this ad or has any association and/or affiliation with The RealReal.