Opinion

Does the Quiet Luxury Trend Mean the Death of Color?

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With the advent of social media and the ability of a single post to be seen around the world by billions of people brought new meaning to the word ‘viral.’ Social media has impacted every aspect of our lives, changing how we interact, eat, shop, and even think. This technology has affected every industry, from the mental health industry (think online talk therapy) to education and fashion; our world has become immensely different from 20, 10, or even 5 years ago.

And when it comes to fashion, the virality of a specific trend has a massive impact on all of us involved. From the influencers and celebrities who adapt to a specific trend to the designers who create them and the consumers who consume them, there’s immense power in one click of the finger when the post button is hit.

Few trends of the last few years have risen to popularity as quickly as the quiet luxury trend. A fashion subculture similar to the academia, cottage-core, and mystic aesthetics, quiet luxury rose to prominence on social media and quickly conquered (fashion) world domination. In fact, since we first reported on the trend three months ago, searches for hot-button terms like “quiet luxury,” “stealth wealth” and “old money style” rose by an average of 849%, according to WWD.

What is Quiet Luxury and Where Did it Originate?

Simply put, quiet luxury is a more intentional, understated approach to dressing. It is defined by its low-key approach to luxury dressing and entails wearing the highest quality basics in a way that looks ultra-luxe but can’t easily be identified. It is further identifiable by minimalist silhouettes and a muted palette, classics that are meant to transcend seasons (and generations). Quiet luxury, as we know it in the 2020s, is nothing new, dating back to the French elegance of France in the 1700s and the American industrialists of the 19th century, the originators of “stealth wealth” if you will.

Quiet luxury hit overdrive this year thanks to a perfect storm of sorts. The idea of sustainability and building a core wardrobe of quality, classic pieces that can be carried over from year to year, coupled with the loud logo fatigue associated with post-pandemic dressing, are partly to blame. There was also that viral Succession scene that catapulted this not-so-new way of dressing to the forefront of fashion.

In With Neutrals, Out With Color?

As we move into this new era of fashion and the over-the-top opulence of designer fashion of the last few years dies down, what does that mean for the bold colors that have been trending the last few seasons? Are they soon to become obsolete to neutrals like black, beige, white, and grey?

While I do believe that the extremely bright hues of Barbie-core, neons and the like won’t trend forever, muted hues and classic shades like red, green and buttery yellow are here to stay, especially when done in classic shapes and materials (think Bottega Veneta Intrecciato, Louis Vuitton Epi Leather, etc.) We’ve already seen a move away from some of the boldness we saw a few seasons ago on celebrities and during PFW. While neutrals will definitely take center stage this year, don’t retire those colors just yet. As always, there’s a time (and a place), and in modern fashion, there really are no rules anymore.

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Jaime
Jaime
1 year ago

I love color. Quiet luxury to me is no labels but quality. But to follow trends like this I would lose my personal style. I love some labels, colors, days of all black. At the end of the day be you.

FashionableLena
FashionableLena
1 year ago

I like loud, bright, and vibrant colors. I’m not interested in anything neutral. Boring. This “trend” is of no interest to me. If the fashion industry decides to go full-throttle with so-called quiet luxury, my pocketbook will thank me. Besides, with all the attention being given to “quiet luxury” brands, they’re no longer quiet.

Sandy
Sandy
1 year ago

I think quiet luxury is simply quality over quantity and closet staples not trends. My interpretation does not restrict color. I am going to buy and wear what I like but I do believe in quality over quantity.

Terri
Terri
1 year ago

I personally think that pastel/muted hues go with quiet luxury well!

chitterchatter
chitterchatter
1 year ago

I think we need to separate out here the beige-ing of fashion from “quiet luxury.” The extremely wealthy never shied away from color. Historically, many dark hues (Roman purple, etc.) were high status and forbidden or outpriced for the lower classes to afford or wear. The beige thing is something different. Even Loro Piana, current “darling” of the “quiet luxury” set, has been known for decades for their rich deep colored fabrics and hues across the spectrum.
What we have is a transition from the Steve Jobs era of Braun/Krups grey/white/black, to the Kardashian beige, but this doesn’t mean that the very wealthy inhabit a colorless world. It just means that famous people and the nouveau riche (e.g., the Kardashians aren’t “old money”) have more popular influence. The wealthy classes have continually worn color, and will continue to do so.

chitterchatter
chitterchatter
1 year ago
Reply to  chitterchatter

Adding that Hermés never stopped producing “quiet luxury” colors, too. There needs to be a separation between the “quiet luxury” which is luxury without labels or branding, and this “beige-ing,” which is luxury without branding AND without color.