Home » Articles » Quiet Luxury: Everything to Know About the Trend

Quiet Luxury: Everything to Know About the Trend

You may have seen them once or twice, on runways, in catalogs, or on celebrities: well-tailored pieces in muted tones without emblazoned logos or names. In 2023, we witnessed trends experience a paradigm shift as fashion enthusiasts embraced these pieces, popularly known as quiet luxury.

This movement is quite an overhaul that contradicts the typical world of luxury fashion where ostentation rules. Its understated elegance is beginning to relegate gaudy logos and tell-tale signs of opulence to the background. It is as though luxury lovers are seeing beauty in stealth and translating this new-found love into their wardrobe choices. But what makes them so fascinating, you wonder?

Sofia Richie Grainge wearing a quiet luxury knit  sweater

Below, we explore low-key opulence to see why top fashion influencers and brands are tilting towards the trend. And if it interests you, we’ll show you how to build a subtle, exclusive, timeless wardrobe.

Quiet Luxury is the Buzzword of the Season

A piece from Dior’s “Quiet Luxury” AW23 Haute Couture Show

Picture this: an unassuming person strolls into a room, not embodying the flamboyance of glitz and glam but decked out in a refined piece with no visible name or logo. This is what defines quiet luxury. Think of it as a minimalist aesthetic created from the finest materials and craftsmanship and only available to a few people.

It forgoes ephemeral trends for timelessness, creating a wardrobe filled with essentials and classics. This trend has engendered a preference for logo-free fashion and products while focusing on exquisite craftmanship, first-rate materials, and muted tones. 

The high-net-worth (HNW) and ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) marketing sectors are becoming more intrigued by this trend. With a focus on expensive yet understated pieces from high-end brands, this aesthetic is fast becoming the norm of luxury fashion.

Some call it ‘stealth wealth,’ ‘old money aesthetic,’ or ‘silent luxury.’ Regardless of what it’s called, the recurring theme behind this trend is the sameprioritizing timeless, minimalist pieces of the highest quality over showy logo-splashed items. In essence, quiet luxury eulogizes the power of subtle wealth over ostentatious brand display. Instead of announcing class and status via names, quiet luxury incorporates a wardrobe comprising sophisticated high-end staples that whisper rather than shout class.

ALSO READ: Faux Fur: What to Know About this Controversial Fabric

How Consumers are Taking the Quiet Luxury Trend

lady wearing quiet luxury outfit at an event

Per Tech Report, more than 75% of US customers believe a brand’s logo is the most vital identifier of a company. This is true for luxury brands whose logos are some of the most recognized symbols in the world.

Going by this finding, would it be safe to say luxury brands should obtrusively display their logo? A study by the European Journal of Marketing (EJM) suggests otherwise. Per the findings, this prominent brand display strategy results in negative perceptions of authenticity and, in turn, reduces buyer intent, especially among consumers with high self-brand connections.

The shift towards old-money aesthetics presents a dilemma for the luxury fashion sector. Brands such as Balenciaga, Burberry, and Louis Vuitton flaunt their logos prominently on almost all their products. On the other hand, brands like Hermes, The Row, Cuyana, Khaite, Bottega Veneta, and Brunello Cucinelli epitomize stealth class.

However, as EJM’s recent study found, conspicuous logo display discourages consumers from buying luxury items and sharing their images on social media. These findings resonated with consumers in the UK, Turkey, and China, whose purchase intent and social media sharing reduced by almost 19% and 17% respectively, for items with splashy logos.

We have HBO’s series, Succession, to thank for the wide adoption of the silent luxe movement. The film’s characters, mostly billionaires, donned tailored, functional pieces void of conspicuous logos and lavish brand names. Consequently, fans began to adopt the show’s style, embracing a minimalistic, logo-free fashion and, in turn, jumping on the subtle deluxe trend.

This proves that consumers are shifting toward mature sophistication, shunning flagrant luxury symbols, and adopting a more refined approach to opulence. They’re rating quality, authenticity, and exclusivity over showiness.

What this Means for Luxury Brands

KZ_K Studio Warm Cycle collection showing quiet luxury

Silent luxury isn’t a novel concept. Its re-emergence heralds a central change in consumer behavior, favoring a deeper and more introspective relationship between consumers and luxury brands. As Daniel Langer, CEO of Équité, opined:

“For luxury brands, this trend presents both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge lies in balancing this new subtlety with the brand’s inherent identity. Luxury brands have traditionally thrived on their ability to be recognized. The logos, the distinctive designs, and the brand stories are what set them apart. Quiet luxury demands a rethinking of this approach, focusing more on the essence of the brand rather than its emblematic representations. Cultural capital becomes more important to many luxury clients than purely showing off.”

Hence, it’s important for luxury brands to approach this trend while considering their individual brand identity and story. Instead of abandoning their brand ethos, luxury brands should express their core identity through new ways that align with the principles of quiet luxury. For instance, telling stories that highlights craftsmanship, innovation, and the unique value proposition of the brand.

But simply talking about quality and craftsmanship won’t always work especially when emerging brands have taken on the same messaging. Therefore, luxury brands need a more sophisticated storytelling approach to sell the concept of quiet luxury successfully. This helps in brand differentiation against competitors.

Why Luxury Brands are Embracing the Muted Aesthetic

A quiet luxury piece from Frankie Shop

Stealth wealth comes with its perks. And brands are hopping on the trend for these reasons:

Sustainability

Brands in this niche understand trends come and go. Hence, they focus on creating timeless pieces that aren’t hinged on trends but are designed to be useful for a long time. They achieve this by producing classics made from high-end materials. In addition, these items are always durable enough to last generations. An example is the beat-up Hermes Birkin bag, now a heirloom passed from mother to child. 

By focusing on relevance rather than trends, quiet luxury brands create classics while contributing less waste to the environment. This is ideal in today’s world, where shoppers are gravitating towards sustainable fashion and eco-friendly brands for a more conscious and responsible shopping experience 

Recurring Patronage

While lowkey deluxe fashion doesn’t outrightly announce brand names, it ironically keeps customers returning for more. This is true for wealthy individuals who subscribe to subtle prestige wrapped in classic, durable items over brand prominence.

Notable brands like Loro Piana, Bottega Veneta, and Hermès are testaments to this claim. While competitors have come and gone with trends, they keep thriving with their classic, durable products because customers value high-quality experiences tailored to their needs.   

Customer-centricity 

At its core, quiet luxury prioritizes customers’ needs. So, instead of promoting their brand elements through flashy logos, old-money brands focus on giving products that make you feel as though they were tailor-made for you. They invest time researching customers’ lifestyles and perspectives and create products that satisfy these needs. 

Shilpa Shah, co-founder of the minimalist fashion label Cuyana, says her design team researches their customers’ needs. Through this, they discovered their target audience busy, professional women— want problem-solving, time-saving solutions. This translated into making products such as work bags that transform from daytime office accessories to clutches for a dinner date or even diaper bags for the weekend. 

Deeper Connection

Adopting quiet luxury lets brands connect with their audience on a deeper level. It transcends selling and plastering their brand’s identity on customers’ minds to creating a relationship based on mutual values and understanding. Through this, brands get a loyal customer base that values them for their ethos and not just their emblems.

ALSO READ: Kibbe Body Types: Everything You Need to Know About It

How to Get the Quiet Luxury Look

a lady wearing a black and white ensembl with red shoes

Now that you’re more familiar with what quiet luxury entails let’s see how to achieve a timeless look with these must-have items:

Embrace Neutral Colors

a model wearing a quiet luxury piece while carrying an umbrella

A quiet luxe wardrobe revolves around minimalist color palettes such as white, black, grey, navy, brown, khaki, olive, etc. They allow for easy combination with other pieces while retaining that posh aesthetic. 

A Logo-free Minimalist Handbag

a logo-free handbag for quiet luxury

A leather handbag that isn’t slammed with logos is the true definition of minimalism. You need at least one to build a timeless wardrobe. Though many may not know its worth since it’s logo-free, those who know will know it’s an ultra-luxe piece just by its feel.

Luxurious Fabrics

A piece from Dior's AW23 Haute Couture

What’s a quiet luxury wardrobe without the fundamentals: high-quality, deluxe fabrics? Silk, cashmere, and fine cotton are in this category. They’re known to exude sophistication and are a mainstay of a timeless wardrobe. Shop contemporary pieces made with these fabrics and pair them to perfection.

Tailored Clothing is Quiet Luxury

a beautiful lady wearing a pinstriped suit

Well-tailored pieces that fit perfectly are one of the hallmarks of quiet luxury. They give a structured fit you seldom get from pret-a-porter clothes. Think tailored blazers, suits, skirts, or coats. Tailoring adds a dose of intentionality, especially to your professional outfits.

Sleek Shoes for Quiet Luxury

lady wearing quiet luxury outfit on the street

Whether you’re donning a pair of loafers, heightening your look with stilettos and platforms, or simply getting on-the-go with kicks, a sleek shoe is the perfect completion to a deluxe ensemble. 

Knitwear

a lady wearing a beautiful knitwear

A stealthy, rich wardrobe comprises knits. They’re perfect for frigid climates when you want to maintain your style while staying warm.

Statement Accessories for Quiet Luxury

Kylie Jenner in a white dress

While quiet luxury is known for its understated elegance, you still need statement accessories to add a touch of personality and flair to your outfits. So throw on a gold necklace or bedazzled sunglasses for a subtle yet bold statement that elevates your entire look. 

Quality Layering

a model wearing a long black coat atop her leather and furry outfit

Blazers, jackets, coats, sweaters, and other classy outerwear instantly elevate any ensemble. Pair them with tailored pants, skirts, or jeans, and watch your look go from plain to polished. 

Quiet Luxury has Come to Stay

Quiet luxury is an understated version of luxury. It relegates conspicuous brand display favoring subtle and refined craftsmanship. The trend is tailored to a growing customer segment that delights in the intrinsic qualities, precise storytelling, and the entire ethos of a brand. For these customers, focusing on intentionality in materials and designs trumps the ability to announce status.

This contradicts the stereotype of luxury brand customers who express their social class and identity through what they wear. As quiet luxe advocates argue, when logos are too flashy, they compromise a brand’s authenticity and weaken the customer’s desire to be original.

Of course, this low-key status doesn’t appeal to everyone. For example, upstarts or nouveau riche individuals who are newcomers to the upper class prefer visible logos and brand emblems to subtlety. Per research, these parvenus subscribe to brand prominence to announce their status and align themselves with the elite. Classic examples are movie or music stars who recently got into the spotlight.

But as sustainability and the drawbacks of fast fashion are brought to the fore, quiet luxury gains more resonance. Ultimately, it’s a call for fashion enthusiasts to adopt thoughtful shopping habits, shun fleeting fashion, and promote timeless staples that will be treasured for years. By investing in minimalist yet luxurious fashion items, you exude an ageless status and create an evergreen wardrobe that stands the test of time.

ALSO READ: Gilded Age Fashion: What to Know About It

Avatar photo
Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting which I've been chasing alongside my fashion career.

That aside, when I'm not sharing style articles, selling with stories, or sketching fashion-forward pieces for Ria Kosher, you'll find me telling wild stories that always come with a twist.

Articles: 555
DMCA.com Protection Status