Personalising a Trend: Monogram

Monogrammed leather goods and accessories have always been synonymous with style, opulence and wealth. Bar the Louis Vuitton Speedy, there was little on the market that offered monogramming services for leather. Whilst the iconic speedy hot stamped initials as a complimentary service, the price point of the premium good was not accessible for a large portion of society.

The gap in the market for affordable monogrammed leather goods with a premium, luxurious feel was explored by hobby bloggers Alyce Tran and Tania Liu, who started up ‘TDE’.

Launched in August 2014 on Instagram by the two friends, who met as graduate law students working at the prestigious Allens law firm in Perth, the business has turned over just under $5 million in 2015. Tran and Liu expect that figure to triple this year thanks to an aggressive new business strategy. Sydney Morning Herald

Quickly recognised for their stunning flatlays on Instagram and breathtakingly extravagant floral arrangements at pop-up stores, TDE has paved the way for other designers looking to distinguish themselves in a competitive accessories market. Alongside other monogram powerhouses such as Monpurse, monogrammed accessories are in my humble opinion the ‘it’ trend of the past years that has taken off in Sydney.

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Images attributed to: The Style Co.

My first monogrammed piece from TDE was purchased in early 2015, when a stunning Gatsby-esque orchid display caught my eye in Pitt Street, Sydney. Before experiencing this pop-up, I was unaware these products were available to the everyday person for such an affordable price. Since that fateful day, I would not shy away from the fact that I have invested hundreds of dollars into monogram pieces. You name it, I have it. From multiple key chains, to wallets, to pouches, to card slots; monogram has enchanted me and my wardrobe.

I have come to appreciate that these two powerhouse monogram brands, collaborating with Myer and David Jones respectively, have become recognisable and popular. Seemingly, I am not the only young women to have fallen under the spell of hot stamped leather goods. If you’re um-ing and argh-ing about entering the monogram market, here are the following reasons why monogram is a completely justifiable trend.

  1. The exclusivity of monogram: 

Up until 2013, it was rare to see an everyday working woman sporting hot stamped leather. Whilst some were lucky enough to get their hands on hand painted Louis Vuitton, the rest of us were left googling images of celebrities showing off their initials.

Irrespective of how common and ‘on trend’ monogram has become, there is still a wow factor about someone taking their wallet to bag to the next level. I personally believe that people look at a hot stamped speedy and appreciate it first and foremost for the reason that it is a genuine Louis Vuitton piece. The initials take a backseat to the name behind the brand. TDE and Monpurse have branded solely around the complimentary hot stamp service. The img_3476fact that your bag isn’t mass manufactured for millions of people to wear worldwide adds a sentimental value to your item.

I would also note that in my experience, the hot stamping with Louis Vuitton and other
brands are the same. Yes, the lettering might be a different style, but the materials used and the way they ultimately appear is the same (note the monogrammed handle).

2. Relatively cheap:

Call me crazy, but I don’t consider leather items under the price point of $100 obscene. I compare this price point to other designers who offer non-leather alternatives for double the price, such as Ted Baker, Mimco, etc. Whilst I appreciate these brands respectively, I would prefer to design my own items.

If you choose a versatile colour or style, the cost per wear of on the item will be low – which is a win-win really.

3. Timeless:

Items on offer by both companies are staple pieces that are understated to let your personalising be the hero. I have found that pouches in particular are very versatile and elegant. From Marco Polo on a Sunday afternoon, to a luxurious wedding at an exclusive venue – your pouch will stand by you through it all. The pouch is elegantly understated and will not overpower your outfit.

In comparison to my Gucci Blooms pouch, the amount of versatility in the two items are a8089116ccf55c08ab435e4a4a7e1745
extreme. I acknowledge that at first glance you might think the two are an orange and an apple, but both items share the same dimensions and are both leather. Whilst the Gucci retails at $400AUD (and the TDE is under $100AUD), I have found it increasingly difficult to pair the Gucci with anything (if my mother ever reads this – I do not regret this purchase, I promise!).

If you are about practicality and you aren’t an enthusiast who collects various versions of items, I would stick to a plain monogrammed piece.

4. Highly photographable:

You may judge me for saying so, but we’re all friends here – let’s be honest. There is a reason why TDE is listed as one of the top flat-lay Instagram pages you need to follow. The success of Pinterest accounts stand as a testament to this. Pieces are beautiful and the photos online reflect that beauty.

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