2017: Year of the Slogan Tee

What will you have scrawled across your chest this season?
Reading time 4 minutes

Fashion has long been marketed to the masses as a declarative and expressive medium, and no single item fulfils that promise better than a slogan T-shirt or sweater. From activism enthusiasts like Katharine Hamnett and Vivienne Westwood to jokesters like Franco Moschino and Giles Deacon, message-y fashions seldom go out of style. With so much happening across the world, it was practically a given that the industry would slogan up with renewed fervour in 2017.

Below, we bring you some of the our favourite slogan pieces that say it all.


“Couture is an Attitude, Not a Price Point”, reads this hilarious Moschino number by Jeremy Scott, reigning king of kitsch at fashion’s cheekiest brand. Ironically, the roomy tee rings in at a cool $339, just a few dollars pricier than the Vetements DHL shirt which sparked serious outrage and countless imitations last year. If only the saying were true, and one could wear a literal giant candy wrapper or broken chandelier and pull it off.

Cotton T-shirt, $339, Saks Fifth Avenue


Between takes of a short fashion film with John Malkovich, Bella Freud and her assistant came up with “Ginsberg is God, Godard is God” while imagining what slogan a beatnik girl would wear to profess her taste. The sweater has become a perennial style since it was popularised by Kate Moss in the mid-2000s.

Merino wool sweater, $457, Net-a-Porter


Victoria Beckham has come a long way from her days as a stiff, humourless fashion android: she’s known to wear the occasional flat these days, has largely forsaken bandage dresses in favour of flowy trousers or culottes, and has even be seen frolicking with kids for her Target capsule collection. Now she’s having the ultimate joke at her own expense, with her limited edition “Fashion Stole My Smile” T-shirt.

Cotton T-shirt, $173


Originally conceived as a playful celebration of hip-hop lyrics, Lingua Franca’s slogan cashmere sweaters are hand embroidered in New York. Recently, the brand’s wares have taken on a socially conscious slant, bearing messages such as “Science not Fiction”, “Stand Up for Freedom” and “Solidarity”. We recommend this “Don’t Believe the Hype” jumper for the conspiracy theorist/climate change denier in your life.

Cashmere sweater, $529, at Net-a-Porter


A more accessible introduction to Lallo’s eccentric Gucci than a ruffled pink lurex party dress, this cat-embroidered tee pushes the limits of good taste by just the right amount. Fly under the radar by matching it with a pair of black trousers and trainers, or do the full Alessandro with a gold turban, embroidered acid-wash jeans and socks over sandals, as presented on the runway.

Cotton T-shirt, $1017, Matches Fashion


In the aftermath of the US election, Nepalese-American Prabal Gurung closed his Fall 2017 collection with a series of politically charged tees, emblazoned with messages including “Nevertheless, She Persisted” — a nod to Senator Elizabeth Warren — “I Am an Immigrant” — which has become a rallying cry for the geographically diverse fashion industry — and our favourite, “Love is the Resistance”.

Viscose-elastane T-shirt, $274, ShopBop



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