A sequence of parallel and sloping lines, drawn “with the telephone in one hand and the ballpoint pen in the other”. Giorgio Armani thus explains, with the urgency of defining a logo for the new Emporio line, the birth in 1981 of the stylized eagle that became a sign of belonging for young people at the turn of the millennium. With their symbolic and conceptual references, animals enter the logos of the brands, load them with identity values, at times they convey their fortunes by insinuating themselves into the imagination.

The Moncler rooster, emblem of France.

They can be small “allegories”, like love of country in the case of the rooster of Moncler, emblem of the Gauls of France that 2000 years ago wore its wings on their helmets as a symbol of strength; or reveal personal passions, such as Nicola Trussardi’s for the greyhound, an ancient and fast breed, an expression of tradition and dynamism, chosen in 1973 to transform the luggage company into a lifestyle brand.

The greyhound, Trussardi’s symbol since 1973.

In other cases they tell curious stories, on the unpredictable thread of events: the symbol of Lacoste born from the promise between a young athlete and his captain, a coveted crocodile suitcase in exchange for victory in the upcoming Davis Cup match. The anecdote spread and the press gave René Lacoste this nickname: it was 1923, and in 1927 the tennis player who became a designer had the long-lived reptile embroidered on the polo shirts (based on a design by Robert George).

The Lacoste crocodile, born in 1927.

In the variegated bestiary of fashion brands, then, horses contain a spectrum of symbolic meanings: luxury and social status, desire for freedom and connection with nature.

The Pegasus wanted by Gimmo Etro in 1968

The Pegasus wanted by Gimmo Etro since the foundation of the company in 1968, it recalls the dimension of the fantastic and combines creativity and daring; the carriage with horse of Hermès – inspired by a painting by Alfred de Dreux still hanging in the historic site of Faubourg Saint-Honoré – refers to the roots of the maison, founded in 1837 with a saddler’s shop, and to its vocation to the equestrian world.

The horse of Hermès, from a painting by Alfred de Dreux.

While the Pony of Polo Ralph Lauren, embroidered for the first time on the cuffs of a shirt in 1971, with Snapchat it now becomes the “threshold” of access to the aspirational world of the brand: a magic of augmented reality, initiated by a smartphone scan of the logo from clothes, bags , printed or digital pages.

The Polo Ralph Lauren logo.

Opening: the eagle designed by Armani for Emporio in 1981.

From Vogue Italia, n. 844, January 2021

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