Skip to main content
BoF Logo

The Business of Fashion

Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.

It’s Not Just ‘Succession’: Why Quiet Luxury Is Everywhere Lately

The final season of HBO’s drama isn’t the only reason the discreet style of the rich is a topic of conversation again. That, plus what else to watch for this week.
Zegna is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the "quiet luxury" trend.
Zegna is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the "quiet luxury" trend. (Getty Images)

HBO’s “Succession” returns for its fourth and final season on Sunday, and like clockwork, the conversation around “quiet luxury” has gotten very loud.

Broadly speaking, quiet luxury refers to ways of dressing that subtly telegraph status via materials, cut and low-key signifiers rather than loud design flourishes and obvious logos. Brunello Cucinelli, Loro Piana, Zegna and The Row are among the most frequently cited brands in this category, though even many luxury labels known for their wild prints and logos offer a selection of unadorned cardigans, blazers and handbags at high-end prices.

Quiet luxury has “if you know, you know” appeal, and promises more genuine exclusivity than luxury megabrands: few can afford to stock their closet with basics that cost more than $2,000 each. It’s also more popular than ever: Cucinelli sales soared 29.1 percent in 2022, and on the back of an “extraordinary start” to 2023, the company recently raised its sales forecast for the year, predicting 15 percent growth even as the economic outlook deteriorates.

Succession, with its miserable, Cucinelli-obsessed billionaires, has been a cultural touchstone for quiet luxury since its 2018 premiere. The fact that the show frequently uses fashion to highlight its characters’ many flaws hasn’t stopped the cast from becoming understated style icons. Last week, Zegna debuted a sneaker campaign starring Kieran Culkin, who plays the youngest Roy sibling. As one BoF reporter put it, it was the ultimate way to signal “we’re the brand rich people actually wear.”

ADVERTISEMENT

But the quiet luxury trend has permeated culture far beyond the HBO drama. See the toned-down elegance of so many runway collections in February and the many “classic Hollywood” references on the Oscars’ red (well, champagne) carpet. The concept extends beyond fashion, too: The New York Post recently complained about the “embarrassingly cheap” look of some recent Broadway productions; what is paying $300 to see Jessica Chastain on an empty stage in “A Doll’s House” if not quiet luxury?

It was probably inevitable that fashion would eventually swing back to quiet style after years of logomania. But a key driver here is economic anxiety. It’s natural for the rich to tone down in-your-face opulence when times are tough and for brands to redouble their focus on the high end of the market, where consumers are still spending, as more aspirational shoppers pull back.

Sunday

The Shoptalk retail conference begins in Las Vegas

Nike’s annual “Air Max Day” will see the release of several new styles of the popular sneaker

Monday

Telfar releases its latest drop, featuring a new dynamic pricing system

PVH reports quarterly results

ADVERTISEMENT

Tuesday

Metaverse Fashion Week begins

Lululemon reports results

Wednesday

Next reports results

Thursday

Dior shows its 2023 pre-fall collection at the Gateway of India monument in Mumbai

H&M reports quarterly results

ADVERTISEMENT

Eurozone releases consumer confidence data for March

Friday

Eurozone reports March inflation data

The Week Ahead wants to hear from you! Send tips, suggestions, complaints and compliments to brian.baskin@businessoffashion.com.

© 2024 The Business of Fashion. All rights reserved. For more information read our Terms & Conditions

More from Luxury
How rapid change is reshaping the tradition-soaked luxury sector in Europe and beyond.

Fashion Goes Big at Salone, But Design Still Rules

Fashion brands are edging in on the world’s largest gathering of design professionals and their wealthy clients, but design companies still dominate the sector, which is ripe for further consolidation, reports Imran Amed.


view more

Subscribe to the BoF Daily Digest

The essential daily round-up of fashion news, analysis, and breaking news alerts.

The Business of Fashion

Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.
CONNECT WITH US ON
The Business of Beauty Global Awards - Deadline 30 April 2024
© 2024 The Business of Fashion. All rights reserved. For more information read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Cookie Policy and Accessibility Statement.
The Business of Beauty Global Awards - Deadline 30 April 2024