Quiet Luxury is a trend that is reshaping the luxury goods market. Characterized by understated elegance, it now places a focus on quality over ostentation and the consumer preference for sustainability and ethical production.
With this trend sweeping the retail world, it now has the population re-evaluating exactly what the perception of luxury is and has brands now taking a closer look at a consumer buying patterns to meet their desire for luxury with an equal emphasis on simplicity and sustainability.
The growing concern over conspicuous consumption is the driving factor in all this. In the past several decades, luxury was a term equated to the display of excess wealth to attain status, but this has become less socially acceptable in recent years. People are increasingly aware of the environmental and social impacts of their consumption, and that knowledge spins to a passion to be seen as responsible and mindful consumers. The key word here is seen. Don’t get this information wrong, consumers aren’t totally ditching the need to acquire, but it’s really about the outward appearance and perception of others within their social circles. This turn in trend allows Quiet Luxury followers to still consume luxury goods and attain status by choosing products that are well-made, timeless, have an ethical component and do not carry the stigma of flashy.
Keeping in mind the changing attitudes of younger consumers, studies show that Millennials and Gen-Z are more interested in investing in experiences than material possessions. This translates to the luxury market as those demographics are also more likely to support brands that align with their values. Less interested in brand logos and more interested in the story behind the product, the volume of Quiet Luxury brands is reached when those demographics become attracted to their sustainability and ethical production approaches.
Brands synonymous with being coined as luxe are also encouraging the trend toward Quiet Luxury. One of the most prominent is Hermès, which has always been known for its understated elegance and focus on craftsmanship. The brand is known for its iconic Birkin bag, is a symbol in which Quiet Luxury exists. Made of high-quality, ethically sourced leather, the simple and timeless design has never gone out of style. The LVMH family has adapted their business practices as well, taking a stance on heritage and materials over the excessive placement of branded logos and overpriced capsule collections. While we may equate certain attributes of a product to being that of a luxury good, when examining further brands like LOUIX XIII cognac whose iconic bottle is crafted by artisans at Baccarat to hold the premier cru cognac that uses the grapes of Grande Champagne, here, two brands exist in a product harmony from French artisans. The LOUIX VIII brand has also furthered their appeal to Quiet Luxury with the recent release of The Drop, a collection of five individual petit decanters that is be paired with a beautifully designed carrying strap, embracing spontaneity and a reset of perception on how to enjoy their products.
Another brand that embodies Quiet Luxury is Celine. Best known for its minimalist aesthetic, they concentrate and focus on quality materials. While products are elegant and understated, with no flashy logos or branding, the brand’s creative director, Hedi Slimane, has been credited with bringing a new sense of cool to the luxury world by prioritizing simplicity and authenticity.
Brands like The Row, founded by the Olsen twins, are among those that consistently make headlines for their understated designs and luxurious fabrics. The Row’s products are made with the highest quality materials and are crafted to last for years. Within the same turn, a brand like Coût de la Liberté, which was founded and designed by Jeff Lubell, holds the market niche for high quality denim designs and modern approach to the graphic tee and ready-to-wear segment. Brands like these have a loyal following among fashion insiders and celebrities, who appreciate its focus on quality over quantity.
With this new focus, Quiet Luxury has had a large impact on the luxury retail experience. Traditional luxury retailers are no longer seen as the only place to purchase luxury goods with consumers now shopping online or at boutiques that specialize in more unique pieces that are less in the public’s eye. This has led to a rise in demand for personalized shopping experiences and a focus on obtaining items that are more bespoke and personalized to match their personalities.
When looking back into history, one this is clear; we are able to pinpoint the era by its categorized fashions. This new luxury era is a way to allow consumers to express their sophistication, style and taste without flaunting without over ostentation. The new era, the new term, and the new mindset for your look should be Timeless