Design: Creating Your Own Name Brand

HOW IT STARTED A more personal--or is it more narcissistic?--spin-off of the logo mania that peaked in the late 1990s

JUDGMENT Harmless, but it does make reselling stuff hard

The genteel practice of monogramming has gone beyond fine linens and towels. Now consumers are slapping their initials--or those of spouses, friends, even pets--on their sandals, toenails and cocktails. "Anytime you can personalize something, it elevates it," says Donata Maggipinto, culinary director of Williams-Sonoma, which has upped its line of monogrammable products 15% this year. Last year Los Angeles Victoria's Secret stores offered monogramming of initials and other symbols on bras and...

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