The clothing hanger as a fashion icon

The clothing hanger is the icon of the fashion industry. At NORMN hangers, we’re trying to update that icon of the fashion world. Because if fashion is going more sustainable, its icon should evolve with it. There is only one question: is it possible to change an icon?

Icons and symbols are not the same. Symbols must be learned and our minds have to be trained to associate an object with the meaning of the symbol. It is not intuitive. For example, the use of the colour red for passion or danger. Icons, on the other hand, imitate the object they are portraying. They are mostly presented in a graphic form.

Technology is developing fast and some icons have become outdated. In this way some icons can evolve into symbols when these no longer look like the image they first represented. One of the best examples for this is the floppy disk, universally known as the save button. While Generation-Z is probably not familiar with the function floppy disk, it still makes sense since the floppy disk was used to save documents. For young users who have never used a floppy disk, this icon has become a symbol.

When you look at the app icons on your phone you will find many more examples, like the traditional phone itself. Who still owns one of those? Or the magnifying glass, that represents the search bar on almost every website or app you visit. But what about the hanger? Should sustainable fashion brands use it as an icon? Because let’s be honest, the plastic hanger is the plastic straw of the fashion industry. You don’t want to be associated with that, right?

If we want to change the fashion industry, we shouldn’t just change the fashion itself, but the whole image around it. The fashion industry should work with an updated sustainable version of the icon, that will include the circularity that is needed. Like a NORMN Hanger?