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Last Updated on 11th August 2023
Quiet luxury is a term used to describe luxury products and experiences that are understated with refined subtle elegance. Rather than being flashy or ostentatious, quiet luxury is about quality, craftsmanship, and attention to detail.
In a world where many luxury brands are focused on making a statement at Paris fashion week and standing out from the crowd, quiet luxury offers a refreshing alternative to conspicuous consumption. It is about creating products and experiences that are luxurious in their simplicity rather than relying on extravagant designs or over-the-top branding.
Quiet luxury is often associated with timeless designs and sophistication rather than fleeting trends or fads. The garments last a lifetime with quality assured, a world away from fast fashion and it’s churning out of clothing destined for the landfill.
Whether it is a beautifully crafted piece of jewellery or a bespoke suit, the appeal is understated indulging in the finer things in life without feeling the need to shout about it. For fans for streetwear, this is more Off-white than Billionaires Boys Club.
But it’s not a new trend, with arguably the fanfare arising recently to capitalise on the demands for sustainably living. Fitting in with the eco-friendly narrative, spending more on less clothing does have it’s benefits, but for most they will be looking at the affordable luxury brands for their next purchase.
Defining Quiet Luxury
Quiet luxury is about more than just the absence of logos or branding. It is about creating a product or experience that speaks for itself. It is about using high-quality materials and expert craftsmanship to create a durable and long-lasting product. The art of subtle elegance is also about sustainability and creating products that have a minimal environmental impact.
One of the critical aspects of the stealth wealth style is key pieces of simplicity. It is about creating simple, elegant products with clean lines and neutral shades. It is about creating apparel that are not ostentatious or flashy but appreciated by those who understand the value of using only the finest textiles. Subtle elegance is about creating a product or experience that is exclusive and special without being exclusive in a snobbish way.
Quiet Luxury in Fashion
The Rise of Quiet Luxury Brands
In theory, there has always been quiet luxury in the fashion industry, with the big fashion houses having essential collections with minimal branding, neutral tones with a minimalist aesthetic. But there are dedicated brands too, known for their understated designs, high-quality materials, and attention to detail.
With sophisticated, unique silhouettes that are both timeless and modern, you would not know the hefty price tag as the designer is not trumpeted. Some of the most notable dedicated quiet luxury brands and designers include Celine, The Row, Khaite, Hermès, and Jil Sander.
One of the reasons for the rise of the concept is a growing consumer desire for more sustainable and ethical fashion choices. Quiet luxury brands often use eco-friendly materials and ethical production practices, which appeal to consumers looking for more responsible fashion options.
Quiet Luxury Trends in Fashion
One of the key trends in quiet luxury fashion is a focus on quality over quantity. Rather than churning out new collections every season, these brands are opting on creating timeless pieces that exude style and can be worn for years to come. This approach reduces waste and allows consumers to invest in pieces they know will last.
Another trend in quiet luxury fashion is a move away from fast fashion and towards more classic styles. Brands like Max Mara and Proenza Schouler are known for their elegant, minimalist designs that are both chic and timeless. These pieces can be worn season after season, making them investment worthy pieces for any wardrobe.
With brands like Loro Piana using luxurious materials like the finest cashmere and wool to create their pieces, you know the item will last if cared for properly. Everlane focuses on high-quality, sustainable materials like organic cotton and recycled polyester.
Overall, the rise of quiet luxury brands in fashion reflects a growing consumer desire for more sustainable, ethical, and timeless fashion collections. These brands offer sophisticated, unique, chic and responsible designs, making them a smart investment for any fashion-conscious consumer.
Quiet Luxury in Accessories
Luxury accessories are often characterized with expensive, bold designs and flashy logos, but a growing trend is emerging for a more understated approach in handbags sunglasses, jewellery and watches. Quiet luxury in accessories is all about subtlety and the expert craftsmanship. Most of us can recognise quality made products even from a distance, so looking wealthy but stealthily is easy to achieve.
The It Bag Phenomenon
The It bag has been a fashion phenomenon for decades, with luxury brands like Hermès and Dior leading the way. However, in recent years, there has been a shift towards a more subtle, understated approach to luxury bags. The handbag trend for 2023 is now on quality materials, timeless designs, and subtle branding.
One example of this trend is the Hermès Birkin bag. While it’s still a highly sought-after accessory, the focus is now on the craftsmanship and quality of the bag rather than the flashy logo. The Birkin bag is made from ultra-high-quality leather, with each bag taking up to 48 hours to make by hand. This attention to detail and quality makes the Birkin bag a true luxury item.
Another example is the Dior Saddle bag. Initially launched in 1999, the Saddle Bag has made a comeback in recent years. The new version of the bag is still recognisable as a Dior accessory, but the branding is more subtle, with a small ‘D’ charm on the front of the bag. The focus is on the bag’s unique shape and the quality of the materials used.
Jewellery and Watches
This is where you get a clear distinction between bling and quiet luxury. Rather than flashy designs and large logos, it’s all about the quality of the materials and the craftsmanship.
One example of this trend is the Cartier Love bracelet. The bracelet is made from 18k gold and has a simple, elegant design.
Another example is the Rolex Datejust watch which has a classic design, with a simple dial and no flashy logos. The focus is on the materials’ quality and the watchmaking’s precision. The Datejust is a watch that will last a lifetime and can be passed down through generations.
In conclusion, quiet luxury in accessories is a growing trend focusing on quality, craftsmanship, and timeless designs. The It Bag phenomenon is still alive and well, but the appeal is now on subtlety rather than logos. In jewellery and watches, quiet luxury is all about the quality of the materials and the precision of the craftsmanship.
The Benefits of Quiet Luxury
Luxury doesn’t always have to be loud and flashy. It can focus on quality, sustainability, and comfort.
The Sustainability Aspect of Quiet Luxury
One of the main benefits is its focus on sustainability. Unlike fast fashion and disposable products, quiet luxury emphasises quality, durability, and longevity. This means you can invest in high-quality items that will last for years rather than constantly buying cheap, low-quality products that need to be replaced frequently.
Many brands that embrace quiet luxury promote ethical and sustainable production methods by using eco-friendly materials, such as organic cotton, recycled polyester, and sustainable leather. They also ensure that their products are made in safe and fair working conditions without exploiting workers or harming the environment.
The Comfort Factor
Another benefit is its emphasis on comfort. Instead of sacrificing comfort for style, quiet luxury prioritises both. This means you can enjoy luxurious items that are also practical and comfortable items to wear or use.
For example, quiet luxury fashion brands often use soft, high-quality materials that feel comfortable against the skin. They also focus on fit and functionality, creating pieces that are easy to wear and move in without sacrificing style or elegance.
Quiet Luxury in Popular Culture
One of the most prominent examples of quiet luxury in recent years is the hit TV show “Succession”. The show follows the Roy family, a wealthy and powerful family that owns a media conglomerate. While they have all the trappings of wealth, their style is understated and sophisticated. Kendall Roy, one of the show’s main characters, often wears simple, well-tailored suits and baseball caps. The show’s creator, Jesse Armstrong, has said that he wanted the characters to dress in a “quietly luxurious” way.
And look at Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. The twins have made a name for themselves in the fashion industry with their brand, The Row, known for its understated, high-quality pieces. Their designs are often simple and elegant, focusing on luxurious fabrics and impeccable tailoring.
Quiet luxury has also made its way into the music industry, usually known for in your face videos and the bling lifestyle. One artist who embodies this concept is Frank Ocean, who often wears simple, well-tailored suits and has been known to carry a Prada briefcase. His understated and sophisticated style reflects his commitment to quality over flashiness.
In conclusion, quiet luxury is a trend that is here to stay. It is not just a passing fad but a lifestyle choice that reflects a desire for quality, simplicity, and elegance. By embracing this trend, people can enjoy the finer things in life without being showy or pretentious.