Understated designs by high-profile fashion houses are embracing logo-less, muted apparel as a flex for shoppers looking for luxury without the PR. Thomaï Serdari, director of the fashion and luxury MBA program at NYU's Stern School of Business, defined quiet luxury for Business Insider as "clothing of the highest quality, but also clothing that has timelessness, is sophisticated and understated."

The trend rebounds off of popular peacocking and loud, colorful patterns that have dominated runways for a few years post-pandemic. Now, it’s appearing in pop culture. Characters in the popular HBO series Succession are consistently dressed in well-tailored suits and sets, neutral tones in the boardroom, and luxury textures and materials from head to toe. Viewers can easily assume the characters are well dressed in designers and high-end brands, despite the fact that there’s rarely a logo in sight. In Season 4, one character attempting to wedge into the wealthy family’s dynamics wears a large Burberry bag to a family event. Though logo-less, the oversized purse is worn in the popular Burberry plaid pattern and was immediately recognizable to anyone familiar with the brand.

When you know, you know, and that’s sort of the point.

Robert Burke

Luxury Retail Consultant

The recognition, some say, is an acknowledgement that the wealthy don’t necessarily need to reach for. “When you know, you know, and that’s sort of the point,” luxury retail consultant Robert Burke told the Los Angeles Times. “The people they care about, the people in their rooms, know exactly what they’re wearing. And they’re the only ones who matter.”

In her recent trial, Gwyneth Paltrow embraced neutral, high-end clothing throughout her court appearances. Hailed as #courtcore for her chic and minimalist outfits, the celebrity was dressed head to toe in luxury apparel without a flashy label. Prada combat boots and cashmere shirts, sweaters and jackets from The Row and her own Goop brand, and culottes from Proenza Schouler are just a few brands that made underscored appearances before the jury.

Many brands are designing for this high-end run on “elevated basics,” as Vogue described it. Nili Lotan and Beare Park released clean-line skirts made from high-quality silk and wool worthy of any capsule wardrobe. Altuzarra and Re/Done launched elevated denim for everyday wear, and Miu Miu and Another Tomorrow released silk sweaters and recycled wool slacks for their fall 2023 collections.

In China, luxury shoppers are intrigued by exclusivity and the utmost, highest quality. “Today Chinese customers are probably some of the most demanding and informed in the world and have developed a distinctive culture of quality,” Brunello Cucinelli, whose cashmere cardigans cost up to $6,700, told Jing Daily. Cucinelli credits the brand's growth in China and Asian markets to “a very cautious communication strategy that has allowed us to protect the exclusivity of our brand by increasing its appeal and desirability.” Italian menswear house Stefano Ricci CEO Niccolò Ricci also spoke to Jing Daily about their own brand strategy: “Luxury brands are often seen as creating ‘shock’ proposals, while we make ‘chic’ proposals.”

The Intelligence take

Some industry experts credit the trend to economic uncertainty. “People are feeling they don’t want to show they have a lot of money necessarily,” Burke told the Los Angeles Times. As luxury shoppers continue to spend despite uncertain financial futures, these brands are creating muted, long-term essentials made to perfection, recognizable only to the trained eye for timeless, understated but elevated style.

Please provide your contact information to continue.

Before submitting your information, please read our Privacy Policy as it contains detailed information on the processing of your personal data and how we use it.

Related Content

Left: a woman with a brunette ponytail faces away from the screen and wears a black earring pointed in front and behind her ear with diamonds circling its center. Right: a close up of a black piece of jewelry pointed on both ends, with diamonds at center.

Regenerative luxury

How is luxury aligning with consumer desire for sustainability and accountability?
Read Article
A dark, large gymnasium photographed from above. Black furniture, weights, and walls. Spherical, bright white lights hang from the ceiling.

Luxe fitness clubs

Exclusive spaces are formulating tight-knit communities for getting fit.
Read Article