I want to paint a picture for you, imagine you’re a young boy living in a moderate Italian home in Napoli. You don’t have much in terms of wealth or material things but the little you do have is of impeccable quality and taste. You have only one pair of nice shoes, one suit, only one winter coat, and maybe a single timepiece, all handed down to you from each generation, treated with care by each new owner. We see that in the past, fashion was about quality vs quantity. A nice wool suit would need to be of exceptional quality to be handed down from generation to generation and still look great and stand the test of time. Of course, things do eventually have to be replaced with new ones and we go with the same cyclical scenario. There are of course many reasons for the frugality of this example which include war-stricken poverty caused by WW1 & WW2 and other factors yet good taste has never been about affordability. We know that adversity gives birth to innovation, and it is no different than fashion. In the days of the great wars, we see the birth of “Quiet Luxury”. These simple and elegant styles of dressing with minimal branding are all the basis of the “Quiet Luxury” aesthetic. Often made of only exceptional luxurious fabrics like fine Egyptian cotton, cashmere yarns, and incredibly supple silks. Quiet Luxury is more of a state of mind for style than a fashion trend.
Quiet luxury is simply an aesthetic or style of dressing in which the person with such style is focused solely on quality and luxurious materials. Their clothes are worn for comfort, durability, and of course the classic chic style. I refer to this style of dress as “quiet” in the sense that it’s not focused on branding or logos to advertise. Quiet Luxury is focused more on longevity and comfort, rather than cost or status. A quiet luxury is also a form of style that is generationally passed down and embraced unintentionally by the wearer. In today’s modern world of course we have various forms of expressionism and individuality that are not considered quiet or luxurious but are still fashionable and beautiful in their own right. We have giant logos from D&G, exploded plaid patterns from Burberry, Giant medusa heads adorning the front of a whole t-shirt, and many more I’m sure you can think of, although there is a time and place for this type of style some prefer to opt out completely.
The “Quiet Luxury” style has become a style synonymous with wealth and power, made famous by TV shows such as Succession. There are fashion brands that focus specifically on this type of aesthetic such as Loro Piana, Brunello Cucinelli, and Zegna to name a few. These brands don’t rely on their logos or branding to sell their products or aesthetics, they simply rely on their quality and materials to make their point. Let’s be clear, Fashion & Style are two different things. Style is how I like to wear the hem of my denim or dress trousers, how I style my hair; or wear my beard. All these style factors have nothing to do with Fashion. Fashion on the other hand is something you buy. Unlike style, it’s not something you can be born with or develop in your younger years. People who have the “Quiet Luxury” aesthetic most likely are not aware that they possess such a defined style because they have been dressing in such fashion for their whole lives. In many cases, people who adopt such a style after embracing an opposite aesthetic are simply doing it to not show off their wealth and humble their appearance per se hence the term quiet.
The “Quiet Luxury” is simply a style of vestige certain people are accustomed to and or embraced by individuals who don’t like to be loud about the designers they choose to wear on their bodies. “Quiet Luxury” simply is and always will be a style, not a fashion trend. Therefore I do not see “Quiet Luxury” ever going away but only gaining more popularity amongst those individuals who are simply tired of what other people think and turn to a more relaxed and simple way of dressing that is only for them and for them only.
Words by Oscar Munoz