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Quiet Vs. Loud Luxury Fashion: What’s The Deal?

Quiet Vs. Loud Luxury Fashion: What’s The Deal?



xpressions of luxury have always been inclined to personality rather than status. While individuals race over the loud all-over-logo trend of Balenciaga and its likes, some people would rather opt for an understated Birkin handbag. The latter believe that “those who know, know.” The dichotomy between quiet and loud luxury is one fashion brands always consider when creating products. Unless they’ve cemented their client base, some dabble when it comes to a signature style. Even fashion brands that have an established style ever so often step out to accommodate new trends and client demands.

The luxury fashion space has changed over time due to reasons like technology, society, and cultural values. In addition, recent times have seen sustainable fashion become an important aspect of high fashion. It’s clear that the luxury fashion space is vast, offering different perks to different types of customers.

Quiet luxury vs. Loud Luxury

Quiet luxury, aka silent luxury, encompasses simple and classic luxury items. These are without a lot of branding or flashy designs. On the other hand, loud luxury boasts bold and attention-grabbing items with extravagant branding and designs that stand out. While people like different types of luxury, quiet luxury is picking momentum due to the demand for more sustainable and fair options. Although this doesn’t mean the loud crowd plans to step down.

Characteristics of quiet luxury in fashion

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Fashion brands that favor “quiet luxury” typically have the following characteristics:

  • Understated and subtle design elements, rather than bold and flashy
  • Timeless and classic styles that are not overly trendy
  • Attention to detail and focus on the aesthetic
  • A strong sense of brand identity and storytelling
  • A discerning customer base, that is, shoppers with a trained eye
  • Limited distribution, often only available in exclusive boutiques or high-end department stores

Examples of these brands

Examples of designers and brands that embody the concept of “quiet luxury” in fashion include:

  • Céline: A French luxury fashion brand known for its minimalist, understated designs and high-quality materials.
  • Jil Sander: A German luxury fashion brand known for its minimalistic, sleek, and clean-cut designs.
  • The Row: An American luxury fashion brand founded by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, known for its luxurious and elegant, yet simple and understated designs.
  • Loewe: This Spanish luxury fashion brand is known for its timeless, understated designs and use of high-quality materials.
  • Acne Studios: A Swedish fashion house known for its minimalistic, yet modern and cool designs.
  • Totême: A Swedish fashion brand known for its minimalistic, timeless, and high-quality designs.

Characteristics of loud luxury in fashion

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When it comes to “loud luxury,” below are some of the characteristics of the brands that favor this approach:

  • Bold and eye-catching, often incorporating bright colors and bold designs.
  • Statement-making pieces, such as bold prints, and embellishments.
  • Associated with a more eclectic, avant-garde style, and may include unconventional materials or silhouettes.
  • Associated with high-end designer labels and a very high price point.

Examples of these brands

Below are some examples of designers and brands that embody the “loud fashion luxury”:

  • Alessandro Michele’s Gucci was known for its bold prints and eclectic, maximalist aesthetic.
  • Jeremy Scott’s Moschino is known for its playful and irreverent take on pop culture and luxury fashion.
  • Virgil Abloh’s Off-White is known for its streetwear-inspired designs and bold graphics and typography.
  • Demna Gvasalia’s Balenciaga is known for its avant-garde, experimental designs and the use of unexpected materials and shapes.
  • Tom Ford is known for his luxury fashion with bold colors and silhouettes.

All these designers and brands are known for pushing the boundaries of traditional luxury fashion and incorporating bold, attention-grabbing elements into their designs.

Is there any balance between the two?

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The balance between quiet and loud luxury in fashion is often a personal preference. But it can also depend on the occasion or setting in which the clothing is to be worn. Some people prefer the understated elegance, while others enjoy making bold statements with their ensemble. Ultimately, the balance between the two depends on the individual and the event.

The significance in the fashion industry

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While an argument is often made that quiet luxury brands often prioritize sustainability and ethical production methods over loud luxury brands who swoon over branding, we beg to differ. For instance, Gucci uses eco-friendly materials and also has a policy approved by CanopyStyle to prevent the deforestation of ancient and endangered forests in its supply chain. This simply shows that even extravagant brands have a thing for the planet and sustainable fashion.

Fashion can’t be trapped in a box, and the ability to have the best of both worlds makes the luxury experience even more special. So, if you’re the kind of girl who’s obsessed with subtility and timelessness, then a brand like Céline was made just for you. Conversely, if you’re intrigued by the excitement of self-expression and status, you’re likely to discover that Moschino has you in mind.

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However, regardless of the disparity between the two extremes of quiet and loud luxury, we love how well A-listers are blending the two to make it work. For instance, a Brunello Cucinelli dress can be paired with Dolce & Gabbana shoes and Versace sunglasses for a major statement. This act of balancing ensures that your looks are neither boring nor predictable.

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and go shopping at a brand you otherwise wouldn’t pay attention to. Who knows, you may just find something that ticks your fancy and helps you express yourself better. Isn’t that what fashion is about?

Featured image: @schiaparelli/Instagram 

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