How Monogram Hair Is Making Its Way Back into Fashion
There’s something about a monogram print that will always hold a deep history within a fashion brand. Whether it be the iconic Louis Vuitton LV, clovers and flowers or Fendi F’s, there is always space for a classic design that never really becomes outdated. Burberry, after seeing their former Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci become their chief creative officer, the designer paired with art director Peter Saville to relaunch the 1908 Thomas Burberry monogram. The refreshed monogram design was both a symbol of the brands heritage as well as a testament to the brands longevity. There are numerous brands who tend to use classic monogram designs all over their clothing but a trend adopted by female rappers has taken centre stage, the monogram imprints on hair.
A trend first used on the fashionable and whip-smart rapper Lil Kim by stylist Dionne Alexander saw her decorate Lil Kim’s assortment of wigs with the Chanel double C’s and the Greek style borders used by Versace, approved by Donatella herself. With Lil’ Kim asking Alexander to place the Chanel logo on the wig, Alexander remembers that she bought the wig, which was originally blonde, dying and cutting it inside her Los Angeles hotel overnight. She went to an arts and crafts store and purchased some thick tracing paper, cut out the Chanel logo and used a magic marker to create the design. That turquoise wig was then worn by Lil’ Kim for a Manhattan File magazine cover and shoot styled by Sybil Pennix in 2001.
For the creation of the Versace Greek keys wig that Lil’ Kim wore to the Spring/Summer 2001 couture Versace show in Milan, she had the cascading border along the sides of the bangs and the front fringe by using a stencil and gold magic marker. After receiving a call from someone in Europe they told Alexander that absolutely everybody was talking about this wig and was even mentioned by Vogue in its show review. "Oh my god Dee-Dee. I love it." Lil' Kim says on a voice message she left for Alexander when she had the wig, a message she kept on her machine for weeks.
Although many people might not have known Alexander's name, her legacy lives on through the creation of these wigs and the people who decide to create their own version of it using various other brand monograms. Two decades later, female rappers are sporting monogram hair once again like Cardi B with a long ponytail adorned with a cascading brown Louis Vuitton print created by Tokyoprintz or for the release of Nicki Minaj's Fendi capsule, she had a short blonde bob with hot pink F's all around.
Megan Thee Stallion also brought her own version of decorated wigs to life with animal print for the music video for 'WAP' that she featured on with Cardi B. In a scene where she raps dressed in black and white tiger print, her hair mirrors the animal design, that was created by two extremely popular hairdressers Guy Tang and Kellon Deryck. She also moves in a more playful direction for her video for 'Crybaby' featuring Dababy which shows her in a long blonde wig with pink and blue flowers.
With the increasing popularity of styled wigs coming into play, the possibilities are endless as to what designs we can put onto these wigs. Hair creates a sense of identity, especially within black culture and to see people utilising it in this way, promotes the expression of beauty which has also been a long-standing signature within.