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

'Quiet luxury' or 'stealth wealth' is a new elitist trend that's propelling timeless fashion to the top of the social ranks

Published: Apr 5, 2023 04:27:46 PM IST
Updated: Apr 5, 2023 04:40:50 PM IST

In fashion, 'quiet luxury' speaks volumes to those in the knowDiscreet luxury is the latest trend among the world's most affluent people. Image: Shutterstock

Subtlety is the way to go for those in the know! Gone are the oversized logos splashed everywhere by influencers and the nouveau riche, replaced by a more minimalist, less showy, yet even more expensive kind of fashion—one which supposedly speaks volumes about the status of the most affluent, often "old money" classes. This style is known as 'quiet luxury' or 'stealth wealth,' a new elitist trend that's propelling timeless fashion to the top of the social ranks.

Fans of the hit show "Succession" probably already know a thing or two about the "quiet luxury" concept that's slowly but surely on its way to becoming the fashion trend of the year. The powerful and wealthy Roy family, at the helm of a veritable media empire, has already mastered it to perfection, and has even contributed, not to making it mainstream—we're not there yet -- but at least in bringing it to light. The idea is to flaunt one's fortune through a discreet, almost minimalist wardrobe that only a handful of insiders will recognize. By doing so, those embracing the concept—often an "old money" crowd—have found a way to differentiate themselves from the new-made millionaires hailing from all walks of life... although influencers seem particularly targeted.

Out-classing in-your-face luxury

No member of the Roy family would dare to appear in public with a bag adorned with the Gucci double G, the Burberry check print or the Louis Vuitton monogram, all of which is far too eye-catching and recognizable. In 2023, the height of luxury is not to show off with ostentatious pieces, as opposed to what's currently the case on social networks. Indeed, star influencers, whether from reality TV or YouTube, like—and need—people to instantly recognize what they're wearing. Cue logomania in all its glory! And, while some big fashion houses were reluctant at first, they're now only too keen to take advantage of this seemingly boundless visibility.

However, members of this "old money" class, who used to enjoy this kind of bold, ostentatious fashion, have decided to set themselves apart from the masses by totally reinterpreting the codes of luxury. And "quiet luxury" has naturally evolved as the answer. Gone are logos, signature prints and iconic handbags from this or that brand, in favor of discretion, understatement and a subtle form of luxury that only those in the know can recognize and appreciate.

Also read: The fashion trends of 2022 were largely shaped by social networks and TV shows

Less is more

In the "quiet luxury" department, minimalist and timeless pieces rule supreme. This means sophisticated clothes in terms of cuts and materials, with an emphasis on craftsmanship, not to mention block colors, without any way of identifying them as being branded. The Row, the high-end label founded by twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, is a benchmark for "quiet luxury," with timeless coats that sell for between €3,000 and €12,500. So too are the fashion houses Bottega Veneta, Brunello Cucinelli, Loro Piana and even Saint Laurent.

You might think—and rightly so—that this trend is reserved for a handful of insiders, but you only have to scroll through TikTok to see that users have already picked it up. The #quietluxury hashtag has more than 50 million views and counting, reflecting a certain interest in this new understated approach to luxury fashion. And like many trends that come from the top of the social strata, it isn't likely to remain exclusive for long. Something that will undoubtedly push the most affluent fashion fans to start thinking up a whole new wardrobe to continue to stand out.

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