Having adorned the likes of Madonna, The Pet Shop Boys and Boy George, Boy London is familiar with notoriety, yet it remains veiled by an oblique aura through which founder, Stephane Raynor’s intention is imperceptible. Through the mystery appears controversy where the brand’s logo intriguingly bears semblance to the German eagle (a symbol of the nation since the 11th Century), as modified and heralded by the Nazi Party between 1935-1945.
Eagle imagery, as put by Raynor, motivates distinction and strength. With its origins firmly attributed to the ancients, the eagle is an icon of Rome, transcending time to play feature in the U.S. coat of arms. Yet, Raynor’s vagueness infers that the eagle embodies the profilic strength Nazism once enjoyed. Thus, Raynor acclaims not the party’s ethics, simply recognising its intensity, therefore making a simple and uncontroversial statement of historical fact.
On closer inspection, the body of the bird shown in the logo is vulture-like. It is clear from Raynor’s comments in various interviews, that if there is a conviction at all, it is a desire to present ‘youth.’ Surrounding himself with the young as a necessity, Raynor’s symbol pilfers from them to create an elixir of longevity. Since the ‘eagle’ is propaganda for youth culture, it is unlikely then, that the insignia is intended to depict dubious politics and wicked crime.
Remarks made by Raynor fail to inspire confidence in a categorical statement of the brand’s ethics. Interactions with the media are imbued with a sense of incomprehension; it is clear that designer and consumer think in parallel. Donning the apparel, one is brought into a fellowship, simultaneously, Raynor rejects collectivisation, heralding difference, and hence, newly inaugurated club-members cannot belong.
The curious juxtaposition of rejection, belonging, strength and stolen youth make it impossible to define Boy London by its emblem, perhaps this is Raynor’s true intention. Interviews give off an indiscernible feeling of a designer’s dogged struggle toward the pinnacle of all creation, ‘uniqueness’, consequently the inability to statically classify insignia realises this purpose. The logo’s dynamism ought to silhouette a consumer confident that their opinion is ineffectual on the design.
Author: Reya Raj