Buzz Worthy    PurseBlog Asks

Is Loro Piana Not Quiet Anymore?

TikTok hype has officially reached the old-money favorite

Off the top of your head, how many quiet luxury labels can you name at a time?

I’ll go first: The Row, Ralph Lauren, Totême, Khaite, Savette, Brunello Cuccinelli, Bottega Veneta, Max Mara, and most recently, of course, Phoebe Philo. Phew!

For a trend that we’re all rather weary of by now (I mean, just how many WWD articles can there be on the subject? 56,225 apparently), there certainly isn’t a dearth of brands catering to the stealth wealth aesthetic.

And just when you thought there could only be so many ways to luxe-ify a grey hoodie (or, for that matter, a white tank top), a new name appears on the horizon to dispel your illusions. It’s like Reddit user Texasusa writes, “I can’t help but think the designers giggle whenever people buy overpriced common goods.”

Chief among the list of designers who make basic-but-quality-pieces-that-won’t-survive-a-trip-to-the-washer is Loro Piana, the 99-year-old cashmere-maven whose name you’ve likely come across in the post-Succession frenzy for all things drab.

But for a label that’s long thrived on near-absolute anonymity, Loro has recently been enjoying an unprecedented round of popularity, first with a streetwear collab with Japanese designer Hiroshi Fujiwara way back in 2021, and now, a logo!

Makes one wonder, where to from here?

Befitting Royalty

The Gift of Kings®. That’s what Loro Piana has christened its fine merino wool ready-to-wear collection that the family, originally from Trivero, Italy, has been specializing in since 1924. In fact, true to its tradition, the brand achieved quite the reputation as the purveyor of woolen drapery, first within post-war Italy’s flourishing haute couture industry and then in international luxury retail.

Unsurprisingly, Loro Piana is also the world’s foremost producer of delicate cashmere, its expansive vertical linkage spanning Mongolia, Myanmar, and New Zealand in the East to the Andes in the West. The crown of its collection befittingly once reserved for Inca royalty – is the elusive Andean vicuña, which constitutes not only the brand’s priciest offerings but also is a species the heritage house rescued from near-extinction in joint efforts with the Peruvian government.

If all that sounds a bit much, even by today’s standards of luxury, it really goes to show the niche Loro has carved for itself, eschewing all forms of advertising (it famously didn’t have a marketing department), and relying solely on subtle signifiers of wealth among the tech-bros and finance-guys of the world.

Loro Piana Sesia Bag

Loro Piana Sesia Tote
via Net-a-Porter

Beauty and the Bandwagon

Despite its utter featurelessness, the beauty of Loro Piana lies in its commitment to craftsmanship. And in line with its aesthetic contemporaries, such as Jil Sander, The Row, and Phoebe Philo’s Céline, normcore was a breath of fresh air in the post-recession; a palate cleanser, if you will, to the raucous excesses of the Y2K.

It was then that Loro Piana was acquired by LVMH in 2013, channeling the already upscale brand exclusively towards the 1%, as other brands within the conglomerate’s portfolio and elsewhere underwent rapid price increases to catch up. Even as the tail-end of the 2010s brought forth a resurgence of noughties’ logomania, Loro Piana was still free to harmoniously exist in its own world of logo-less luxury, unbothered, undisturbed.

Sofia Richie Grange Loro Piana Pouch
Sofia Richie is the latest celeb to flaunt the Loro Piana Pouch

But what it hadn’t anticipated, and neither perhaps had the big bosses over at LVMH, was the cultural phenomenon that Succession would become. With a wardrobe bedecked in Loro Piana (Kendall famously passed out in a pair of the label’s swim trunks) and an acerbic attitude to overt branding, Succession, in quick succession with Gwyneth Paltrow’s ski-trial, and Sofia Richie’s old-money wedding, paved the way for the newest of marketable TikTok trends – quiet luxuries.

And, of course, LVMH wouldn’t be the LVMH it is today if it were to let an opportunity as opportune as this go to waste.

Baseball Caps and Ludicrously Capacious Bags

It is thus that we find ourselves at the juncture where Loro Piana, affectionately dubbed the Uniqlo for billionaires, launched a discreetly monogrammed baseball cap identical to that Kendall Roy wears in the show – save for, of course, the logo.

It’s not just caps. Unlike the brand’s earlier lineups, its newest range of (rather uncharacteristically spacious, might I add) handbags – the Pouch, the Bale, and the Sesia – all feature subtle branding, be it in the form of a scripted name or a crest engraved onto the hardware.

It’s certainly not the end of the world, but for seasoned buyers of Loro, it might as well be. To their mounting horror, however, the brand now has a marketing department and went so far as to sponsor social media star Gstaad Guy!

And to no one’s surprise, the label’s newest outlet in Silicon Valley has become the hub for such so-called arrivistes, lapping up its logo-less loafers in every colorway and showing off their latest blockchain-backed NFTs, in perhaps the grossest violation of the heritage house’s original ethos.

Loro Piana Bale Bag Red

Does that mean Loro Piana’s days are now numbered? For a brand that HypeBeast dubs “one collective ‘shh!’ from the world’s richest glitterati,” the new logo lines, albeit entirely discreet, may certainly seem like a bridge too far. Silicon Valley–based lifestyle consultant Victoria Hitchcock further echoes the sentiment, “Never, never, never, never. I would toss those in their giveaway donation pile.”

But fashion, at the end of the day, is cyclical. As trends swing towards maximalism again, Loro’s logo caps will likely be forgotten just as quickly as they were cheered, leaving its logo-less lineups to be enjoyed in all their quiet glory.

Until then, I’ll just drool over a large tan Bale bag.

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CatJ
CatJ
8 months ago

How can “quiet luxury” exist in this age of TikTok and brands selling out to conglomerates that whore their wares out to influencers? When millions are shouting about a “quiet” brand on social, we are deafened by the din. Enough already with this quiet luxury nonsense.

Lorelei
Lorelei
8 months ago
Reply to  CatJ

I get it in that if you are wearing shoes with a brand stamped on them, and you add a belt, and then a purse with a brand stamped on them, it gets to be a little much. (I’m talking to you Lesley Beador) And that’s not counting designer earrings, or bracelets. I have a Chanel bag, an Hermès bag, and assorted YSL belts. I have Chanel earrings and Hermès bracelets. I don’t hate a bag that doesn’t have a brand stamped on it.

go_buy_a_hotel_
go_buy_a_hotel_
8 months ago

This haughty taughty “NIMBY” is embarrassing for the writer. Loro Piana is a beautiful brand with high values. It was never a quiet brand, it simply wasn’t as well known until it was acquired by LVMH. Speaking of, they are equally responsible for their increase in advertising of Loro Piana. There are many other topmost quality European brands that are simply not well known because they do not advertise. “Quiet” “Loud” Nonsense. Pocket change judging what others can afford under a veil of pretentious arrogance.

Igancio
Igancio
8 months ago

It was a quiet brand. It’s lost is way under LVMH

Silvie
Silvie
8 months ago

In the years following its acquisition by LVMH, I’ve found that LP has become something akin to the CrossFit joke: How do you know if someone in the room is wearing LP? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.

Not to say that this isn’t the desired outcome; LVMH wants to see return, hence the marketing and demographic shift we are seeing. If longtime consumers don’t like this, they will find another place to spend their money.

King Charles' Inkpot
King Charles' Inkpot
8 months ago
Reply to  Silvie

Funny thing is not too long ago, LP bags were deeply discounted at Saks Off Fifth….

Sylvie
Sylvie
8 months ago

Okay, I thought I was crazy, but if you remember this as well, I must not be. I was shocked when I saw recent prices!

Passerine
Passerine
8 months ago

Some years back a friend bought a Loro Piana bag and was dismayed by quality issues that developed fairly quickly. This was very surprising as we had considered LP a byword for quality. (The bag was purchased at the LP store, so was not a poorly made dupe).

Lisa
Lisa
8 months ago

Well. I always thought of this brand as one my grandparents wore. And now I’m nearly my grandparents ages so I guess I should take a second look. But my grandmother was a person who often had the same shoe in multiple colors. The same sweater in multiple colors. And dressed in monochrome outfits. Never in anything flashy.

Lauri
Lauri
8 months ago

Geez does LVHM own everything??

Adangerousbeauti
Adangerousbeauti
8 months ago
Reply to  Lauri

Not Hermes but they’re trying

Lauri
Lauri
8 months ago
Reply to  Lauri

Oops LVMH

Adangerousbeauti
Adangerousbeauti
8 months ago

I dont see anything special with that pouch. It’s ugly. I can buy that similar pouch at TJ MAxx or Ross Dress for Less.

J Gertner
J Gertner
8 months ago

This is just an article w opinions. Pay no mind. LP is amazing. The best of the best. I have incredible coats df cashmere, baby cashmere tri color scarves, rare samples, and it’s incredible depending on what appeals to one’s taste. And the ‘gift of kings’ finest of the fine merino, technique to get that fabric so fine w no woven detail seen is in itself marvelous and desirable. Obviously too note, that person who wrote article is into brands that are not actually in realm of LP. Cucinelli only qualifies along w Agnona, and others that are less known because of quality and very little quantity. Please learn how to spell cucinelli too. Obviously person didn’t mention Agnona because they are clueless. Writer is more mass brand oriented.

VeeBee
VeeBee
3 months ago

I do understand this article in regards to trends. However it’s important to note that LP has been known in Europe for their quality cashmere and shoes. They will always have customers (I mean, how else did they survive 100 years of “quiet luxury”?). I love their items but I’m not a loyalist. I have their shoes and they are dreamy and right up my alley. However the pendulum always swings and soon there will be another tiktok hype and those who simply want good quality shoes and items will continue with LP. It just means that now, I have to be careful WHERE I wear my LP shoes – before you could go anywhere. Now I’m worried for safety (I’ve watched “Insecure” so I am well aware that someone can steal your shoes right off your foot!).