If you were under the impression that we were about to see the back of quiet luxury, stealth wealth, and old money (three IYKYK trends centered around luxury products that subtly signify wealth) then think again — because they aren’t going anywhere.
For those not au fait with the stealthy phenomenon — where the hell have you been?! — one quick look at Jennifer Lawrence and her $5k handbag, Gweneth Paltrow’s sleek courtroom drip, or literally anything Brunello Cucinelli should get you up to speed.
According to The RealReal’s latest Luxury Consignment Report, a yearly round-up of the US’s buying habits, copping understated luxury products that give off a wealthy aura is still very much still alive and (quietly) kicking coast-to-coast across the States.
Searches for Bottega Veneta’s Cassette, the logo-less crossbody bag, are up by 47 percent, for instance, while anything by The Row — the minimalist ready-to-wear label founded by Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen — is on a similar trajectory thanks to a 41 percent increase in searches.
Elsewhere CELINE, which is the most purchased brand by Gen Z in 2023 so far, has entered TheRealReal’s Top 10 Most Searched Brands List for the first time since 2018, while Bottega’s inclusion in the list is a first for the brand.
Nowadays, wealth isn’t exerted by big logos and statement wear; less is most definitely more. Everyone wants to look wealthy, even if they aren’t. But how?
Nowadays, wealth isn’t exerted by big logos and statement wear; less is most definitely more.
According to the report, resale is playing a major role across the US. In Seattle, specifically, brands like Brunello Cucinelli and Khaite are some of the most popular labels being flipped, three names synonymous with the quiet luxury trend.
Searches for the Loro Piana cap worn by Succession's Kendall Roy (a darling of the monied aesthetic) are also up by 36 percent.
Yet, boiled down, quiet luxury, stealth wealth and old money luxury – three supposedly separate trends, but three that are, to me at least, one and the same and defined by the same taste – are basically all just ways of looking rich, but without the song and dance of it all.
While the initial fanfare that surrounded the trend when it rose to dominance earlier this year might have died down, it isn’t going anywhere. In fact, searches for brands defined as quiet luxury are up by 29 percent so far in 2023.
Still, if you think that the subtle wealth signifiers we saw early in the year are quietening down, think again, because both the clothes and the trends, ironically, aren’t.