Quiet Luxury - How The Moneyed Class Flaunt Wealth Subtly
In a world that seems to constantly demand our attention, there exists a realm of elegance and sophistication known as quiet luxury.
It is a realm where quality reigns supreme, where the allure of simplicity and understatement captivates those who seek a deeper, more meaningful connection with the world around them.
It’s also a concept that transcends the traditional notions of opulence and extravagance, embracing a more understated and refined approach to the finer things in life.
Welcome to the realm of quiet luxury, where the whispers of elegance and the subtlety of refinement create an enchanting tapestry of sophistication.
QUIET LUXURY explained: What it is and which brands will benefit | Latest News | WION
COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/quiet-luxury/ by Jaya Mckeown on 2023-07-13T15:55:54.115Z
The term “luxury” typically refers to a state of great comfort, elegance, and extravagance, often associated with wealth and exclusivity.
It involves the presence of high-end and superior features or materials that enhance the overall experience or quality of a product, service, or lifestyle.
The definition provided by Michelle Lee, the Style & Beauty editorial assistant at PEOPLE, touches on the core message of the abovementioned explanation.
In her May 2023 article for the said magazine, Lee defines quiet luxury like this:
A preference for expensive subtly with toned-down yet tailored designer pieces over noisy opulence full of obvious branding and loud logos.- Michelle Lee
Luxury retail expert Thomai Serdari, Ph.D., who teaches Marketing at the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University, would agree with her definition.
She told CBS News in June 2023 that quiet luxury is fundamentally characterized by these two:
- “the complete lack of logos”
- “anything too conspicuous”
Serdari, who also founded the New York-based brand strategy firm BRAND(x)LUX, added that certain people can spot luxury brands - even without the labels and logos - based on the “techniques that are very particular” to them.
These techniques become evident to these eagle-eyed patrons of luxury brand and, more recently, advocates of quiet luxury, through the product’s (e.g., designer clothes):
- “other small details”
A March 2023 Vogue article declares quiet luxury as the season’s trend in 2023, which it describes as “a more low-key approach to luxury.”
In her Forbes articles published in April 2023, Filipina fashion writer Bianca Salonga, echoes the same views.
Salonga, who pursued an MBA program (Luxury Goods and Fashion Industries) in Paris, regards quiet luxury as a “concept” geared toward “maximizing cost per wear without sacrificing elegance.”
Notice anything about these definitions?
They all point to a kind of luxury that appears subdued or understated YET glamorous at the same time.
That’s quiet luxury in a nutshell.
Bianca Salonga took up an MBA at the prestigious French fashion school Mod’Art International, where one of her professors was Olivier Roux.
Prior to Mod-Art, Roux worked at Christian Dior as marketing and licensing assistant for 2.7 years.
Afterwards he worked for eight years for the Italian fashion designer Francesco Smalto (1927-2015) and later for the French fashion brand Morgan for three years both as a licensing director.
Salonga recalled in her Forbes article how, during one of her classes with him, Roux cited “heirloom jewelry” and “vintage Hermes bag” as representations of quiet luxury.
He told the class, as quoted by Salonga:
In France, luxury has nothing to do with the bright, shiny, new things. Logos and monograms are not luxury.- Olivier Roux
A Loro Piana cashmere sweater, according to Roux, relates to luxury.
And he’s right. That Italian luxury fashion house is one of the quiet luxury brands right now.
Every quarter of the year, London-based fashion tech company Lyst (est. 2010), which also happens to be a shopping app, comes up with a list - the Lyst Index - of the standing of different luxury brands.
For the fourth quarter ranking of 2022, the top 20 hottest luxury brands, as mentioned on its website, were:
|Top 10 Luxury Brands||Rank 11 - 20|
|1. Prada||11. Balenciaga|
|2. Gucci||12. Nike (surprise!)|
|3. Moncler||13. Versace|
|4. Miu Miu||14. Fendi|
|5. Valentino||15. Louis Vuitton|
|6. Bottega Veneta||16. Diesel|
|7. Loewe||17. Ugg|
|8. Dior||18. Burberry|
|9. Dolce & Gabbana||19. Coach|
|10. Saint Laurent||20. Jacquemus|
Who would have thought Nike would be hotter than Burberry, Louis Vuitton, and Versace?
Well, as early as 2016, per Business Insider, it already replaced no less than Louis Vuitton as the world’s “most valuable apparel brand.”
Now while these 20 brands scream luxury but can evoke quiet luxury at certain times, the following brands - they still come with hefty price tags, though - tend not to be loud at all:
|Brunello Cucinelli||Loro Piana|
|Fear of God||Max Mara|
|Jil Sander||The Row|
International fashion company Who What Wear (est. 2006) shares on its website its own picks for quiet luxury shoe brands.
Ladies with deep pockets may want to consider adding any of the following to their endless shoe collection:
|Luxury Brand||Example / Price (in U.S. Dollar)|
|Aeyde||Greta Patent-Leather Slingback Sandals ($395)|
|Bottega Veneta||Leather Mules ($990)|
|Larroudé||Mini Annie Sandals ($315)|
|Manolo Blahnik||Callamu 50 Elaphe Mules ($875)|
|Mansur Gavriel||Square Toe Ballerina Flats ($395)|
|Marion Parke||Francis Peep Toe Slingback Flat ($495)|
|Neous||Kamui Leather Sandals ($645)|
|Porte & Paire||Leather-trimmed Suede Pumps ($295)|
|Reformation||Adria Block Heeled Sandals ($248)|
|Saint Laurent||Gippy Dream Kitten Heel Slide Sandal ($795)|
Here are some quiet luxury bag brands:
|Luxury Brand||Example / Price (in U.S. Dollar)|
|Acne Studios||the Musubi ($1,600)|
|A.P.C.||the Grace Baguette ($523)|
|Celine||the Box Bag ($4,200)|
|Delvaux||the Pin Mini ($3,200)|
|Hunting Season||the Striped Bucket Bag ($825)|
|Loewe||the Small Puzzle Bag ($3,416)|
|Objets Daso||the Vivian Bag ($1,890)|
|Métier||the Incognito Large Cabas ($2,650)|
|Savette||the Slim Symmetry Pochette ($1,390)|
|Valextra||the Iside Tote ($3,500)|
These days, even the moneyed gentlemen are catching up with quiet luxury.
That gray crew neck T-shirt Mark Zuckerberg has often worn in public and business events all these years?
It doesn’t come cheap, mind you.
It’s a “custom-ordered” Brunello Cucinelli after all, according to W Magazine.
The multibillionaire CEO of Meta Platforms has been ordering it (by the dozens, perhaps?) from the Italian luxury fashion house since 2016 (back when the company he co-founded was still known as Facebook).
Per a December 2018 CNBC report, Zuckerberg’s favorite Brunello Cucinelli T-shirt was $295 per piece.
Aside from Brunello Cucinelli, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, and Tom Ford, below are other quiet luxury menswear brands:
|Anderson & Sheppard||Dunhill|
Quiet luxury represents a level of luxury that is discernible and notable, yet avoids excessive extravagance.
Thus, it appeals to individuals who desire a refined and high-quality experience without going to extremes.
In a July 2023 British GQ article about quiet luxury, it says that you can achieve a million-dollar look without spending a million dollars.
Where to buy? Head to Uniqlo.
Yup! You read that right. It’s one of the 15 recommended brands mentioned in the said article.
It specifically suggested buying these items from the Japanese retail company:
- down jackets
- short-sleeved shirts (a Uniqlo linen short-sleeved shirt retails for $38)
Of course, if you’ve got the money to burn, you can purchase the Errigal T-shirt from The Row ($450) or the Eternal wool crepe T-shirt from Fear of God ($1,350).
Lifestyle Asia also included Uniqlo on its list of affordable quiet luxury brands along with:
- American Eagle (U.S.)
- H&M (Sweden)
- Mango (Spain)
- Pomelo (Thailand)
- Topshop (U.K.)
- Zara (Spain)
Other brands (pricier compared to the ones previously mentioned):
- COS (part of the H&M Group)
- Massimo Dutti (Spain)
- The White Company (U.K.)
Women & Home suggests the following quiet luxury apparels (the recommended retail prices indicated were as of June 2023):
a. from Gap
- high-rise ankle jeans ($79.95)
- organic cotton shirt ($59.95; U.S. only)
- softsuit pleated shorts ($69.95; U.S. only)
b. from H&M
- 3-pack T-shirts ($19.99)
- lyocell blend pants ($29.99)
- striped espadrille ($54.99)
c. from The White Company
- linen-rich dress ($159)
- color block cardigan ($139)
- straw basket bag ($98)
d. from Zara
- belted shirt dress ($69.90)
- double-breasted blazer ($149)
- striped knit sweater ($49.90)
Within the realm of quiet luxury, the allure lies not in grand displays of wealth or ostentatiousness.
It lies in the subtle details, the impeccable craftsmanship, and the effortless grace that defines every aspect of the experience.
That’s exactly what’s in the mind of Gabrielle Calder, an online stylist for the famous luxury online fashion retailer Net-A-Porter.
Calder said, as quoted by Byrdie, that quiet luxury is something that’s “not flashy” at all and uses “higher-end fabrics.”
It squashes what Emma Childs, the style editor at Marie Claire, calls “logomania.”
For that quiet luxury style, in her May 2023 article for this French international magazine, Childs recommends the following must-have items:
1. bags without logos
- the Alec Bag
- the black small shoulder bag by Filippa K
- the Maeve small textured-leather tote by Khaite
2. ballet flats
- the Octavia Flat from Aeyde
- the leather flats from Jil Sander and from The Row
3. blazers (for the ladies, opt for those that are “slightly-cinched”)
- the sculpted suit blazer from Banana Republic
- the wool-blend blazer from Reiss Larsson
- the one-button notched collar seersucker blazer from Theory
4. cashmere (for Childs, this one’s “a no-brainer”)
- the Lilo ribbed cashmere midi dress from Lisa Yang
- the sleeveless cashmere turtleneck sweater from Theory
- the cashmere Bardot sweater from White + Warren
5. coats (pick beige)
- the belted trench coat from Barbour Somerland
- the belt handmade coat from Mango
- the scarf-neck trench coat TOTEME
- the pima micro-rib long-sleeve crew Everlane
- the organic cotton pocket tee from J. Crew Factory
- the crew-neck cotton T-shirt from Lemaire
When worn, Childs’ fashion advice: make sure “the neck peeks through.”
7. leather loafers
- the Whitney Bax loafer flats from G.H. Bass
- the Winona Penny loafers from J. Crew
- the loafer from Vince Demi
8. a button-down shirt (preferably white)
- the relaxed Oxford shirt from Everlane
- the oversize poplin button-up shirt from Nordstrom
- the signature cotton shirt from TOTEME
9. skirts (suggestion: buy the straight/streamlined ones - midi or maxi)
- the Dreamer silk maxi skirt from Banana Republic
- the Idris reverse rib jersey A-Line skirt from By Malene Birger
- the Eli pencil skirt from The Frankie Shop
10. sunglasses (choose those dark ones and “slightly oversized”)
- the rectangular sunglasses from H&M
- the GG D-frame acetate sunglasses from Gucci
- the 54mm gradient cat eye sunglasses from Guess
11. trousers (go for the relaxed fit)
- the pleated tailored pants from COS
- the wide leg pants from Madewell Harlow and from Tibi Stella
Jess Cartner-Morley, The Guardian’s associate fashion editor, wrote in her June 2023 article for the said British newspaper that one can achieve the quiet luxury look by taking note of these two things:
a. Choose “soft neutral colors.”
b. Don’t wear “skintight” (choose clothes that are “breathable”).
Lastly, try as much as to avoid these:
For accessories, Cartner-Morley suggests wearing hoop earrings or stud earrings and “a gold chain necklace.”
That’s what she deems as quiet luxury being “practical.”
After figuring in a ski collision in 2016 in Deer Valley Resort in Utah, Gwyneth Paltrow got sued.
Perhaps more than the details of the trial, what captured the attention of the fashion-forward people and the media were her courtroom outfits, which exemplified quiet luxury.
In one hearing she attended in March 2023, Paltrow wore the following quiet luxury brands, as noted by Marie Claire:
- Ray-Ban sunglasses ($213)
- a sweater from The Row ($1,690)
- a Jaka coat from The Row ($5,445)
- a pair of lace-up boots from Celine ($1,200)
Kendall Jenner also wore items from The Row, which the Olsen twins - famous ‘90s child actresses Mary Kate and Ashley - founded in 2011.
In April 2022, Zendaya attended an event for her HBO show Euphoria in a jacket from the fall 2021 collection of Fear of God, one of the current quiet luxury brands.
According to PEOPLE, other celebrities who are into quiet luxury include:
- Victoria Beckham
- Zoe Kravitz (Lenny Kravitz’s daughter)
- Sofia Richie (Lionel Richie’s daughter)
Who can beat celebrities when it comes to showcasing the latest in the fashion world?
Hmmm… social media personalities can and have already been doing it.
According to Complex.com, for its Linea Rossa Fall/Winter 2022 campaign, Prada asked London-based German photographer and filmmaker Norbert Schoerner to take photos of one of its chosen ambassadors: a TikToker.
It’s the lovely 19-year-old Charli D’Amelio from Connecticut.
This Gen Z internet personality has 151 million followers on TikTok (11.4 billion “likes” so far); 47.1 million Instagram followers; and 9.3 million YouTube subscribers.
It’s not only the outfits of individual Hollywood stars, celebrities, and other media personalities that prompt the thriving quiet luxury lifestyle.
The main cast of HBO’s top-rated family drama series Succession (2018-2023) dazzled those in the know with the attires they wore for their respective characters for they exuded “quiet luxury.”
One male character once wore a cashmere baseball hat in one episode and sunglasses.
For those who might easily dismiss it as just another baseball hat, well, it really was just another of its kind except that it’s made of cashmere and it’s from Loro Piana.
Plus, per Decider, it commands a 625-dollar price tag.
As for the sunglasses, it’s from Jacques Marie Mage and costs $750.
Why has Succession’s fashion got everyone talking?
According to the Lyst Index, it’s Prada (for the fourth quarter of 2022). The number two spot was claimed by Gucci.
In 2023, the Gen Z or “zoomers” are aged 13-21.
According to the Decoding Brand Affinity report by New York-based market researcher YPulse, here are the fashion brands highly favored by them:
|Brand & Ranking||Brand & Ranking|
|1. Nike||11. Under Armour|
|2. Jordan||12. SHEIN|
|3. Vans||13. Champion|
|4. Adidas||14. Fashion Nova|
|5. Converse||15. Depop|
|6. Supreme||16. Calvin Klein|
|7. Hot Topic||17. The North Face|
|8. Crocs||18. Hollister|
|9. Amazon||19. Target|
|10. Sport Chek||20. UGG|
In December 2022, Insider Monkey reported that the following fashion brands were regarded as the top five most overrated:
1. Louis Vuitton
In the original list, companies are included, with Hermès, Nike, and Gap at the fifth, sixth, and seventh spots, respectively, according to Yahoo! Finance.
In the pursuit of quiet luxury, one discovers the pleasure of savoring life’s little pleasures, finding solace in moments of tranquility, and indulging in a world of refined tastes and curated experiences.
It is a realm that invites us to slow down, to appreciate the art of simplicity, and to embrace the inherent beauty that lies within the understated.
Ultimately, the concept of quiet luxury encompasses a balance between elegance, quality, and affordability.