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Quiet Luxury - How The Moneyed Class Flaunt Wealth Subtly

The term “luxury” typically refers to a state of great comfort, elegance, and extravagance, often associated with wealth and exclusivity. In terms of clothing, it involves the presence of high-end and superior features or materials that enhance the product’s overall quality. That’s also the concept behind quiet luxury, albeit it’s carried out in an understated manner.

Author:James Pierce
Reviewer:Paolo Reyna
Jul 13, 20232.7K Shares226.5K Views
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

What Is A Quiet Luxury?

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 phrase “quiet luxury” suggests that something possesses a considerable degree of opulence or high-quality features, but perhaps falls short of being excessively extravagant or overly indulgent.
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):
  • “cut”
  • “stitching”
  • “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.
The inverted triangle Prada logo on a black denim jacket
The inverted triangle Prada logo on a black denim jacket

Quiet Luxury Brands

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 BrandsRank 11 - 20
1. Prada11. Balenciaga
2. Gucci12. Nike (surprise!)
3. Moncler13. Versace
4. Miu Miu14. Fendi
5. Valentino15. Louis Vuitton
6. Bottega Veneta16. Diesel
7. Loewe17. Ugg
8. Dior18. Burberry
9. Dolce & Gabbana19. Coach
10. Saint Laurent20. 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 CucinelliLoro Piana
ConnollyMargaret Howell
Fear of GodMax Mara
Jil SanderThe Row
KhaiteTOTEME

Quiet Luxury Shoe Brands

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 BrandExample / Price (in U.S. Dollar)
AeydeGreta Patent-Leather Slingback Sandals ($395)
Bottega VenetaLeather Mules ($990)
LarroudéMini Annie Sandals ($315)
Manolo BlahnikCallamu 50 Elaphe Mules ($875)
Mansur GavrielSquare Toe Ballerina Flats ($395)
Marion ParkeFrancis Peep Toe Slingback Flat ($495)
NeousKamui Leather Sandals ($645)
Porte & PaireLeather-trimmed Suede Pumps ($295)
ReformationAdria Block Heeled Sandals ($248)
Saint LaurentGippy Dream Kitten Heel Slide Sandal ($795)

Quiet Luxury Bags

Here are some quiet luxury bag brands:
Luxury BrandExample / Price (in U.S. Dollar)
Acne Studiosthe Musubi ($1,600)
A.P.C.the Grace Baguette ($523)
Celinethe Box Bag ($4,200)
Delvauxthe Pin Mini ($3,200)
Hunting Seasonthe Striped Bucket Bag ($825)
Loewethe Small Puzzle Bag ($3,416)
Objets Dasothe Vivian Bag ($1,890)
Métierthe Incognito Large Cabas ($2,650)
Savettethe Slim Symmetry Pochette ($1,390)
Valextrathe Iside Tote ($3,500)

Quiet Luxury Menswear

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.
Mark Zuckerberg in plain crewneck T-shirt and testing the Meta Quest 3 virtual reality headset
Mark Zuckerberg in plain crewneck T-shirt and testing the Meta Quest 3 virtual reality headset
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:
AgnonaConnolly
Anderson & SheppardDunhill
BerlutiErmenegildo Zegna
BoglioliLuca Faloni
CanaliThom Sweeney

Affordable Quiet Luxury Brands

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:
  • chinos
  • 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)
Woman on the street in a tucked in white top and beige trousers; woman in a room in long sleeve polo and shorts
Woman on the street in a tucked in white top and beige trousers; woman in a room in long sleeve polo and shorts

Quiet Luxury Style

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
6. crewnecks
  • 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:
  • embroidery
  • logos
  • sequins
  • slogans
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.”
Gwyneth Paltrow in long coat and boots walking to a Utah courthouse; Gwyneth Paltrow in sweater pulling a chair
Gwyneth Paltrow in long coat and boots walking to a Utah courthouse; Gwyneth Paltrow in sweater pulling a chair

Quiet Luxury Celebrities

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 Euphoriain 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.
Charli D’Amelio posing in a strapless gray Prada Gabardine Dress in a hotel hallway
Charli D’Amelio posing in a strapless gray Prada Gabardine Dress in a hotel hallway

Quiet Luxury ‘Succession’

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?

People Also Ask

What Is The Hottest Fashion Brand?

According to the Lyst Index, it’s Prada (for the fourth quarter of 2022). The number two spot was claimed by Gucci.

What Are The Hottest Gen Z Fashion Brands?

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 & RankingBrand & 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

What Is The Most Overrated Luxury Brand?

In December 2022, Insider Monkey reported that the following fashion brands were regarded as the top five most overrated:
1. Louis Vuitton
2. Balenciaga
3. Hermès
4. Nike
5. Gap
In the original list, companies are included, with Hermès, Nike, and Gap at the fifth, sixth, and seventh spots, respectively, according to Yahoo! Finance.

Final Thoughts

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.
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James Pierce

James Pierce

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Paolo Reyna

Paolo Reyna

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