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How 'Succession' is shaking up the world of fashion

The phenomenon is such that the comedy-drama has already given birth to a trend that has gone viral, 'quiet luxury,' and each episode is now scrutinised to dissect the most emblematic outfits

Published: Apr 20, 2023 11:40:50 AM IST
Updated: Apr 20, 2023 11:52:18 AM IST

How 'Succession' is shaking up the world of fashion"Succession" has given rise to a craze for 'quiet luxury.' Image: Courtesy of HBO

A headline title on HBO since 2018, TV series "Succession" is seeing its success and reputation grow with each passing season, and with it increasing interest in the wardrobe of its protagonists. The phenomenon is such that the comedy-drama has already given birth to a trend that has gone viral, 'quiet luxury,' and each episode is now scrutinized to dissect the most emblematic outfits.

TV show "Succession" may have had a relatively discreet launch when it was first released five years ago on HBO, but it quickly became a major hit for the network and now, after each episode drops, is the subject of intense discussion and memes on social media. Currently in its fourth—and final—season, each episode is subject to intense scrutiny. And while the series is acclaimed for both its acting and writing, as well as for its depiction of the extraordinary daily lives of a powerful Roy family, at the head of a media empire, the wardrobe of these wealthy people is in particular the subject of fascination. Unlike the latest series that have had a significant influence on fashion trends, such as "Emily in Paris" and "Euphoria," the HBO comedy-drama stands apart for its clothes that are ultra distinguished and discreet, but no less luxurious. And this subtle luxury intrigues viewers on the lookout for the latest trends in this area.

Understated luxury

First of all, "Succession" could help put an end to ostentatious luxury, which prioritizes flashy brand logos, signature prints, and other easily recognizable visual indicators (eg, red soles, monograms, intertwined letters). Far from the world of Emily Cooper, heroine of the series "Emily in Paris," and her over-the-top outfits, the Roy family's world is characterized by sober, perfectly tailored suits, elegant dresses and blouses, and sophisticated coats, without any distinct sign that reveals their brand—or nearly. Because the average viewer or member of the general public can't identify the origin of the outfits worn in the TV show, at least not at first glance anyway, those who occupy the same social rank as the wealthy members of the Roy family know. This is the very essence of 'quiet luxury,' a trend that the show itself has largely contributed to, and which also tends to differentiate the nouveau riche from the simply rich through specific outfits and accessories.

The idea of 'quiet luxury' is to not say too much about the origin of one's clothes. The outfits worn by the show's protagonists, which, as we have seen, are central to this trend, are minimalist, discreet, neutral, and difficult to identify. No flashy brands, and even fewer apparent logos, but without cutting back on style or sophistication. After all, chic remains the keyword for these wardrobes that stand apart in this era of social networks, and its flashy and uninhibited fashion. And yet this new minimalist, timeless fashion is a crowd-pleaser, so much so that the hashtag #quietluxury has already racked up more than 60 million views on TikTok... Proof of the impact the TV show is having on the closets of younger generations.

Also read: In fashion, 'quiet luxury' speaks volumes to those in the know

A wardrobe under the microscope

This discreet, subtle luxury is proving so successful that viewers are now breaking down each character's outfits after each episode airs. And it is this activity in particular that has created such enthusiasm for 'quiet luxury.' The first episode of the fourth season in particular pitted wealthy heirs of a fortune against the nouveau riche via a simple—yet expensive—accessory: a handbag. The character Bridget, who is brought as a date by one of Roy family members (cousin Greg), arrives at a fancy evening social event with a large Burberry bag featuring the iconic signature tartan prominently. A breach of taste in the eyes of the wealthy, who see it as an ostentatious misstep for its large size at an evening event and flashy print. A faux pas in the kingdom of the 'real' rich, those who did not need to borrow the social elevator to reach the floor of socialites.

Since this episode, each outfit seems to be the subject of particular attention on social networks, with tutorials being posted explaining how to embrace this trend with style -- and at a lower cost. On TikTok, the TV show "Succession" has racked up no less than a billion views, with a host of looks being deciphered in the process. On Instagram, an account has even been created in honor of the outfits seen on the show, Succession Fashion, with all the info on the clothes and their origin. Serving to highlight certain luxury labels and bringing others out of the woodwork—at least in the eyes of the general public.

And indeed many brands are benefitting from the TV show's success. Lesser known than Gucci, Fendi, and Balenciaga among others, these exclusive under-the-radar labels are now a sensation with the general public. The Row, the label founded by twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Bottega Veneta, Brunello Cucinelli, and Loro Piana, are among the brands highlighted in the show, symbolizing this 'quiet luxury,' as well as Tom Ford, Theory, Hugo Boss, Max Mara, Jason Wu, Ralph Lauren, and Barbour.

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