Some of the leading brands that you see in the fashion world are intentionally logo-free, which sets them apart. This trend is referred to as quiet luxury or stealth wealth. Wealthy individuals and those who aspire to be wealthy are embracing this fashion style, which comes with a high price tag, particularly during times of economic instability or inflation.
The trend of logo-free fashion is nothing new. In fact, it has been around for a long time, with its roots tracing back to the Gilded Age of the 19th century in America. Many even say that it was popular in France in the 1700s.
Although the trend gained popularity during the pandemic, it has been cyclical in nature. Retailers and designers have taken notice of this trend and are targeting not only the wealthy but also those who aspire to be wealthy.
A great example of this is Gwyneth Paltrow.
During her court appearance in Utah regarding a ski crash dispute, Paltrow, a celebrity offspring and multimillionaire through her company Goop, donned expensive attire from head to toe, including Celine boots, Prada, and a few luxury cashmere sweaters.
Her attire consisted of high-end designer clothing in neutral tones, and probably only those familiar with luxury brands could recognize the expensive labels behind her logo-free wardrobe.
According to Robert Burke, a consultant in the luxury retail industry, the key is that those who are important to the wearer, such as those in their inner circle, are aware of the clothing’s designer. If you know, you know, and that’s kind of the point.
The HBO series “Succession” follows the story of the wealthy and ruthless Roy family, headed by their snarling patriarch, Logan Roy. The show’s costume designer, Michelle Matland, has crafted distinct, upscale wardrobes for the main characters that have evolved over time, delighting viewers who have been following the fashion cues since the show’s debut in 2018.
In the world of stealth fashion, the Roys and their jet-setting lifestyle favor impeccably tailored dark suits, often customized to fit perfectly. They also opt for plain baseball caps with flawlessly rounded brims and neutral power pieces. Shiv, the sole female Roy sibling, is often seen wearing such pieces without logos.
Burke says the current trend can be attributed to the pandemic. With the influx of stimulus money and savings, young aspirational buyers were drawn to big brands with bold statements.
However, there is now a sense of fatigue and economic uncertainty, leading people to shy away from displaying their wealth.
Now, we have certain more affordable brands trying to imitate this trend, including Vince, Banana Republic, and J. Crew.
Is it effective to imitate stealth wealth?
Well, although investing in high-quality staple pieces can result in longer-lasting wear and less waste, attempting to pass off cheaper alternatives as luxury items may be problematic.
Ultimately, those who are familiar with luxury brands will be able to discern the difference. As the saying goes, “When you know, you know.”