The cult of the designer is an obsession which has gathered strength and momentum during the twentieth century, orginating with figures like Worth, Poiret, Chanel and Vionnet, and developing after the Second World War with self-publicists like Dior, St Laurent, Balenciaga and Courreges. Latterly the process has proliferated so that designers' logos adorn everything from perfume and stockings to handbags and scarves. Figures like Armani, Versace, Westwood and Galliano market their styles from catwalk to highstreet shop, advertising their latest ideas as "must-have" products. Every accessory, it seems, from the mobile phone to the sportsbag is made more glamorous, and therefore desirable, by the correct label.
In many ways, the 1960s saw the beginning of this modern pre-occupation with designers, a creed which now permeates the whole of popular culture and affects every strand of material consumption.