Dior & Fendi's FW20 battle of Sharpie-like Graphics

Updated: Aug 22

In order to be successful in the fashion industry, a difficult conversation of criticism must be had. When I first took a look at Dior's recent menswear launch for FW20, it was very appealing (it still is), until I took a tiny peek at Fendi's FW20 launch.

As the origins of Sharpie/permanent marker inspired graphics are unknown, we know for sure they came about after the 60's as that is when Sharpie was invented. Personally, the nostalgia of middle & high school era is all I could think of when seeing the graphic. Plain black and white with little to no room in between the graphics themselves.


Inspired by Stussy, Dior's none other than Kim Jones, wanted to bring that nostalgic feeling back when designing much of FW20 Menswear. Though Shawn Stussy retired in '96, Shawn was featured as the guest artist. Bringing back the signature wave print of "Stussy" but replacing it with "Dior", in turn bringing about the offspring of American and French culture.


With that, came about this modern yet vintage mixture of idea of black on white extravaganza. 



Such a simple yet artistic idea, seems so familiar, but no one was doing it like Dior.

Until...I ran across a very similar idea on my Instagram Discover page, mistaking it for Dior Hommes FW20, I opened it only to see the one and only...Fendi!

Presented also as Menswear FW20 for Fendi, I was appalled! Who...did it first?



Taking a closer look into the artist, Joshua Vides' campaign titled "California Skies", takes a collaboration to a deeper and more personalized level for the artist. Joshua Vides was able to express himself and still incorporate Fendi's signature design while not taking away any originality from himself and his "comic-like" looks done on other brands such as Nike!


Here is the Fendi Harrods Store Transformation designed by Vides.

The discussion of "Who did it first" is nearly impossible to answer because the true answer is unknown. A singular person's style comes from a great deal of artists who themselves were inspired by a set of completely individual artists! The list can go on for ages. But the one conclusion we can all come to is that all of this is definitely originating from the Sharpie and Permanent marker on printer-paper era. 

Nevertheless, you didn't come here for an article that played it safe did you? 

Dior and Fendi are very competitive, high-fashion brands. And even though as explained, the artists are completely their own people. The Fashion brands themselves have started to delve into the world of incorporating many "hypebeast" artists in order to reach a better demographic yet completely disregarding how appealing they used to be versus who they have become over the years. High-fashion brands are taking away their own originality and replacing it with what is more likely to sell. Graphics are easy to sell, they appeal to the youth, and that is what is seen when looking at high-fashion brands, they have all become street-wear oriented.



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