We see them every day—in our homes, on TV, on social media, out in the street. They’re the well-known logos of the brands we’ve come to know and love. But do you actually know what they stand for?
I’ve rounded up six Italian luxury logos with hidden meanings, secret truths and appealing origin stories behind their design.
Bulgari is the oldest Italian fine jewelry house, founded in 1884. The trademark is usually written BVLGARI in the classical Latin alphabet, taken from the surname of the company’s Greek founder, Sotirios Voulgaris. The BVLGARI logo was used for the first time in 1934, when its brass letters graced the central doorway of the Via Condotti 10 flagship store in Rome.
Bulgari elegance is recognizable by ancient elements of Roman, Greek and, later, Art Deco style, reflected in its logo. The brand is well-known for its enchanting gemstone jewelry using a collection of colors, most of all sapphires mixed in unique formats. Moreover, it creations include iconic features, such as a sense of volume and harmony. Defined as classic yet contemporary, BVLGARI has been creating timeless pieces for those who adore jewels.
Fendi, the noteable Rome-baseed maison, was founded in 1925. Adele and Edoardo Fendi opened a small- and medium-sized leather goods shop, and success came quickly. In 1965, the logo was designed by Karl Lagerfeld, a combination of two ‘F’s – one upright and the other one upside down. The Fendi logo represented in black capital letters to highlight the brand’s creativity and innovation.
Ferrari’s logo of a rampant horse is recognised all over the world. The brand was founded in 1932 by Enzo Ferrari, and a new emblem appeared on the racing car of Ferrari – a black horse standing on only one hind leg with is tail characteristically up-turned was set against a canary-yellow background . In 1932, Enzo Ferrari adopted the logo belonging a famous airman Francesco Baracca during WW1 and it was the symbol that was painted onto the fuselage of Baracca’s plane. The logo symbolizes power and extravagance. Moreover, the yellow background color is inspired by the flag of the city of Modena, the birthplace of Enzo Ferrari.
The first Gucci shop was founded in Florence in 1921 by Guccio Gucci. Many of his designs were inspired by horseracing, and his company became known for its wonderful level of craftsmanship. The ‘GG’ symbol is still used today, and was designed by Guccio Gucci’s son, Aldo Gucci, who combined the initials of his father into a double-G design. The logo is one of the most easily recognisable ones in the fashion industry.
Prada, one of the leading Italian luxury fashion houses, was established in 1913. The brand was appointed the official supplier of Italy’s royal family, the House of Savoy. Prada therefore received the right to include elements of the Savoy emblem in its logotype: the coat of arms and the rope. The Italian fashion house may pinch the logo depending on the design and collection. For example, some bags have the Prada logo plates with a triangle, some say just “Prada”, while others say, “Prada Milano”. In addition, the choice of color brings to light the idea of minimalism and sophistication.
In the 1970s, Gianni Versace was a business-minded fashion designer living and working in Milan. In 1978, Versace made his dream come true by opening the very first Versace boutique in Milan’s Via della Spiga. The logo was designed along with the collection itself. By choosing the emblem for his future fashion house, Versace added a touch of mystery to his collection. In describing her brother’s bold choice for the logo, Donatella Versace has said, “When I asked Gianni why he chose Medusa’s head, he told me he thought that whoever falls in love with Medusa can’t flee from her.”