When you wear a luxury label, you want it to speak loudly through logos and apparent branding. In recent times, though, a simple, albeit one with a strong impact, trend has taken over.
Introducing quiet luxury: clean, high-quality and timeless. “It celebrates the absence of logos and ostentatious details, focusing on the finer, quieter aesthetics rather,” says designer Nachiket Barve, adding, “It could be a high-count cashmere coat, a handwoven Jamdani saree, a buttery soft leather bag, or heirloom jewels. It’s about curating a look that reflects your personal style and speaks to people in the know.”
According to Business of Fashion (BoF), one of the leading digital authorities in the global fashion industry, London-based Zegna Group reported €65 million in profit amid the quiet luxury boom. It also highlighted that a wide swath of labels, such as Vince or Banana Republic, are trying their hands at the understated look, minus the eye-popping price point.
“My purchasing style has shifted to quiet branding recently. These pieces are worth the money because they’re high-quality, tailored items that are made from fabrics that never go out of style,” shares fashion influencer Meghna Kaur, when asked about the change in her shopping pattern. Some of her favourite brands include The Row, Hermès, Chanel and Loewe. Whereas, for fashion influencer Aashna Shroff, Victoria Beckham is the perfect example of the trend. “Her focus on silhouette, fit and classic tailoring epitomises quiet luxury,” she says.
An evergreen trend
While it may seem new, experts believe the trend has always existed among us. “It coexists in a tsunami of brands,” believes designer Anikate Satam. Adding to it, Barve says that prior to social media, connoisseurs knew what a Barenia Birkin bag or the older version of Bottega Veneta was. “In India, too, we have had a tradition of quiet luxury for centuries. It is evident in a pashmina shawl or a Benarasi saree, or even the exquisite muslin handkerchief with chikankari embroidery – all hallmarks of good taste in quiet luxury,” he says.
Why the sudden rise?
The timeless trend has come to the forefront in full force recently. Many believe it is due to the popularity of the series, Succession, and also the fatigue of in-your-face branding. “We saw such brands during the pre-pandemic and lockdown eras. Although the silhouettes became relaxed and athleisure, the name of the brand was always there,” notes celebrity stylist Isha Bhansali.
Satam, too, feels people have had enough of logo mania. “The maximalist explosion is also responsible for this consumer behaviour,” he adds. Barve believes that in 2023, two radical opposites are coexisting: “On one side, you have the loud logos and slogan T-shirts, and on the other end of the spectrum, you have quiet luxury,” he says. While maximalist style is not going anywhere, quiet luxury with its understated aesthetic has its own charm.
Style it right
Experts dole out tips on how to pull off the look. “Understand your style, explore what you’re buying and carefully curate your wardrobe,” advises Barve. Whereas, Satam bats for classics: “Go for non-logo-driven items and collect iconic silhouettes in timeless colours. Focus on details, quality, construction and processes.” Meanwhile, Bhansali advocates for solid colours. “Don’t have too many prints and elements in the look. Make sure that the accessory or the piece of clothing speaks for itself,” she concludes.