Succession, TikTok, and A New Era of Quiet Luxury That’s Here to Stay
In recent years, there's been a remarkable shift in the world of luxury and its trends. The days of Y2K styles of flashy logos, extravagant displays, or conspicuous consumption are gone. Instead, a new concept known as "quiet luxury" has emerged, capturing the attention of fashion lovers, influencers, and trendsetters alike. Today, it's all about perfecting wearable styles and embracing a more understated approach.
This blog will delve into the meaning of quiet luxury, look at examples of brands that embrace the concept, and discuss how popular culture, such as the TV show "Succession" and the rise of TikTok fashion fans, has shaped this movement.
What Exactly is Quiet Luxury?
While the term "quiet luxury" is new, its principles have been around for centuries, dating back to the Renaissance period in Italy. Fine artists and craftsmen would be commissioned by the wealthy and elite to create bespoke garments and accessories that were one-of-a-kind, personalized, and of exceptional quality.
Quiet luxury used Interchangeably with ‘stealth wealth,’ is an understated and discrete approach to indulgence that emphasizes the quality of the materials Cashmere, fine-knit wool, silk, and leather, combined with clean cut lines, smart tailoring, and timeless fits. craftsmanship, and timeless elegance over outward indications of wealth.
It's about embracing subtle sophistication, refined taste, and a sense of exclusivity without relying on flashy logos or overt branding. Quiet luxury stands out as a refreshing alternative in a world dominated by excessive consumerism, and flashy logos. It has made us shift our focus from external symbols of wealth to the intrinsic value of a product to a new perspective on what it truly means to indulge. It invites us to appreciate the finer details, the intricate craftsmanship, and the enduring beauty that comes from careful design and artistry.
Embracing the Unbranded Aesthetic
One of the prominent features of quiet luxury is the absence of obvious branding. This approach challenges the notion that luxury is synonymous with prominently displayed logos. Instead, brands embrace quiet luxury opt for subtle, understated branding, letting the quality of their products speak for themselves.
Brands like Loro Piana, Brunello Cucinelli, The Row, and Max Mara have been doing this for years. These brands don't scream 'wealth' with logos and crazy shapes but rather whisper it with very subtle designs, minimalistic shapes, and rare materials. Loro Piana, for example, is known for using the world's rarest raw materials, such as the extremely expensive vicuna wool, whereas Brunello Cucinelli, a pioneer of casual tailoring, sources his cashmere in the Mongolian mountains.
The key to nailing the look is to invest in insider-approved pieces that are of high quality and fit. Mark Zuckerberg's gray t-shirt is designed by Brunello Cucinelli.
Each t-shirt costs about $500-$600. Gwyneth Paltrow and her Ski court outfits also come to mind as examples of celebrities who have mastered this particular style of dressing (or should that be a fashionable form of disguise). Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen turned the aesthetic into a profitable business; their ultra-luxury label The Row is known for its understated and specific designs.
And finally, Sofia Richie has recently been hailed as the movement's face, thanks to her elegant wedding and closet brimming with tweed jackets, tailored blazers, posh trousers, designer bags, and dainty accessories.
The Influence of "Succession"
The HBO series "Succession" has garnered a dedicated following and has had a profound impact on shaping the conversation around quiet luxury. The show depicts a wealthy family grappling with power struggles, highlighting the complexities and nuances of privilege. With its elegant and understated wardrobe choices, the show exemplifies the quiet luxury aesthetic. Viewers are drawn to the allure of subtle opulence portrayed on screen, sparking a desire for a more refined and sophisticated approach to personal style.
Michelle Matland, the show’s costume designer, and her team spent time as "voyeurs" observing people going about their daily lives in New York's richest deal-brokering districts in preparation for working on Succession. She kept track of everyone, from those arriving in town cars to those taking the subway.
“You know, their watch probably cost $45,000 just to swim in. It isn’t for anyone else, or anyone else’s knowledge that they do it. They simply do it because that’s what they know. They know nothing else. But they are not posturing their money, as it were.” – said the Succession costume designer Michelle Matland.
This concept was most prominent in the Season 4 premiere of the show when Cousin Greg's date brings a large tote bag to a family function. Tom Wambsgams, who married into the Roy family, calls the bag "ludicrously capacious." "What's even in there, huh?" he continues. Shoes with flat soles for the subway? Her lunchbox? Greg, I mean, it's monstrous. It's enormous. You could take it camping with you. After a bank job, you could slide it across the floor." It's a hilarious take on the oversized tote bag (Burberry Large London Tote Bag) as the official handbag of the working class — or, rather, the bag of the working classes.
From Shiv’s Tom Ford, Max Mara, and Ralph Lauren to Kendal’s Loro Piana Cashmere coat, the wardrobe on the show has caught everyone’s attention that not looking wealthy is the richest thing you can do.
The Rise of TikTok Fashion Fans
TikTok has become a breeding ground for fashion enthusiasts, fostering a community where users share their passion for style and trends. Recently, a particular fascination has emerged among TikTok fashion fans with "old money" aesthetics, "stealth wealth," and, in turn, the concept of quiet luxury. The phrase “Quiet luxury” has surpassed 38.5 billion views on TikTok where users are drawn to the elegance and timeless appeal of classic, understated fashion choices, seeking to emulate the sophistication associated with the upper echelons of society. This newfound appreciation for quiet luxury has helped propel the movement into the mainstream, making it more accessible and widely embraced.
Why People in the Industry Are Embracing Quiet Luxury Again
There are several compelling reasons that have contributed to its resurgence and growing popularity among fashion enthusiasts and industry insiders alike.
First and foremost, it represents a return to substance over showmanship, where the focus is placed on quality craftsmanship, impeccable design, and timeless aesthetics. In a world inundated with fast fashion and mass-produced goods, the appeal of quiet luxury lies in its ability to stand the test of time, both in terms of style and durability.
There has also been a significant shift in consumer behavior and values. People are becoming more conscious of their impact on the environment and are gravitating toward sustainable and ethical fashion choices. Quiet luxury aligns perfectly with this growing sentiment, as it emphasizes investing in fewer, high-quality pieces that are crafted with care and designed to last. By embracing quiet luxury, individuals can curate a wardrobe that not only reflects their refined taste but also aligns with their values.
Moreover, as influencers and tastemakers showcase their discerning style and appreciation for understated elegance, it has ignited a desire among fashion enthusiasts to emulate this refined aesthetic. Social media platforms have become a source of inspiration and discovery for people to find brands that resonate with their personal style.
Lastly, there is a certain sense of exclusivity and sophistication associated with quiet luxury. By forgoing loud logos and overt branding, it creates a more intimate connection between the wearer and the garment. It is a subtle nod to those in the know, a recognition of the discerning eye that appreciates the finer details. This element of exclusivity adds to the allure of quiet luxury and further attracts individuals who seek a more refined and elevated fashion experience.
Embracing quiet luxury is not just about following a trend; it's a conscious choice to reject superficial displays of wealth and focus on personal style and substance. By embracing quiet luxury, you can curate a wardrobe of timeless pieces that exude elegance and refinement. It allows you to celebrate the beauty of understated craftsmanship and invest in items that will withstand the test of time, both in terms of style and quality. Quiet luxury invites you to find your unique voice and express yourself with subtlety and grace, creating a lasting impression wherever you go. Trends come and go, but the elegance of simplicity and quality will always remain.
As more and more people shift their focus towards quiet luxury, the fashion landscape is undergoing a transformation. This new era celebrates quality, craftsmanship, and timeless elegance, prioritizing substance over status symbols. Whether inspired by the TV show "Succession" or the influence of TikTok fashion fans, the concept of quiet luxury has captured the attention of individuals seeking a more refined approach to personal style. Embracing quiet luxury allows us to redefine what it means to indulge in luxury and reaffirm our commitment to individuality, sophistication, and substance in a world often dominated by excess.