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Oct. 2002

Just as the number of diamond brands is increasing, some luxury manufacturers and retailers are beginning to de-emphasize the role brands.

In a front page article, “Dropping Logos That Shout, Luxury Sellers Try Whispers,” The New York Times notes that luxury retailers are finding consumers increasingly resistant to large logos, especially since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Even well-known names like Gucci no longer adorn as many items as they used to. One Barneys executive said that fashion executives now realize that logos have been done to death: “The customers O’D on them. They no longer have resonance.

A sociology professor added that the shrinking of logos should be tied to a larger resistance to branding strategies: “It’s connected to individuality, rejecting some corporate definition of who you are.”

People no longer want to wear what everyone else is wearing, but something that’s unique. Time wrote recently that monogramming has gone beyond fine linens and towels, and people are initialing their sandals and sweaters.

Ultimately, we feel that the brand that matters most is the one that represents integrity — whether it’s a noted name, independent jeweler, or New York diamond dealer. Some brands may be weakening now because consumers realize there is nothing to them. But the ones that will endure are the ones that truly offer assurance to consumers and give them something they can really appreciate.

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