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Distinguished but not Distinctive - What happens if Quiet Luxury turns the volume down on branding for good?

Whisper it quietly, but quiet luxury is having a moment. In fact, as this article points out, it is proving so popular that the backlash may already have begun.

Quiet luxury is something of an amorphous phrase, but in fashion terms Harper’s Bazaar described it well, as “muted staples that don't shout about their provenance, but rather quietly communicate a low-key, but undeniably high-end, unfussiness”. Whether it is Gwyneth Paltrow’s court outfits, or the wardrobe from HBO’s “Succession”, conspicuous branding is out and understated chic is in.

However long it lasts as a trend though, quiet luxury does present some interesting challenges for brand owners and their advisers.

For example, in an industry where logos adorning clothes are a key way of raising profile and brand awareness, what happens if you can’t use them? Also, whilst brands invariably use their full name on internal labels and websites, many have trade marks for specific logos and patterns that only appear on garments themselves. If these fall out of fashion for five years or more might they be vulnerable to non-use attacks?

Brand prominence is something that varies enormously across the industry, both from company to company and within individual collections. For every sneakerhead that pays a premium for a Nike Swoosh there is a billionaire who would pay even more for an unbranded Loro Piana baseball cap….(OK, there may be fewer of the latter). But if the impact of quiet luxury is enduring then it may require many brands to rethink their approach.


fashion and luxury