Fashion influencer bryanboy shoots down concept of ‘quiet luxury’ as filthy rich people wear logos too

Too poor to understand.

Fasiha Nazren |
April 26, 2023, 3:24 pm

You’ve probably heard of newfangled terms like micro-cheating and luxury lite.

Here’s another one to add to your Gen Z dictionary: Quiet luxury.

The term has gone viral not just in the fashion world but on TikTok as well, flooding FYPs with videos explaining what’s quiet luxury:


What is stealth wealth? What is quiet luxury? Tom’s reaction to Greg’s date’s bag in Succession’s season 4 premiere explains it. #succession #successionhbo #tv #tvshow #fashion #fashiontok #fashiontiktok #tiktokfashion #stealthwealth #stealth #luxury #luxuryhandbag #luxuryfashion #burberry #handbag #handbagtiktok #handbags #cousingreg

♬ Witch Familiar (Classical) [Classic](143628) – dice

And quiet luxury dupes…


Want to look expensive? 💰 No, you don’t have to spend a lot. If you read the article that just came out from @dailymail on Succession’s style where I was the style expert on, you’d know that “Quiet Luxury” is a thing. These are the reasons why people like the characters of Succession always *look* rich. NOT because theyre flaunting designer logos. What do you think of “quiet luxury?” #quietluxury #successionstyle #styletips #fakeittillyoumakeit #lookexpensive

♬ Succession (Main Title Theme) – Nicholas Britell

Fashion influencer and socialite Bryan Yambao, better known as bryanboy, has given his hot take on the issue as well, calling the trend an “awful rash” that is all over social media.

But first:

What’s quiet luxury?

Quiet luxury, as oxymoronic as it sounds, is legitimately a thing.

Elle has described the current trend as “new-age minimalism, with a larger focus on investment pieces and thoughtful shopping habits.”

Also known as stealth wealth, Vogue simplifies it as “elevated basics”.

So like the evergreen minimalism, you ask?

Yes, exactly. But with a higher income bracket.

To describe it to fashion plebs like me, quiet luxury is an expensive, high-quality thing that looks basic but not necessarily in a bad way.

So imagine a plain blouse that looks like something you can get from Uniqlo, but with a hefty price tag.

For example, this S$780 shirt that lacks branding save for that tag on the back of the clothing.

Screenshot from Jil Sander’s website.

Some brands that are known for producing quiet luxury clothing include Jil Sander, The Row, and Loro Piana.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Row (@therow)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Loro Piana (@loropiana)

I don’t know these brands because my wallet is not their target market but according to Forbes, their target audience are “fiercely loyal consumers” who have no qualms about spending lots of money on timeless outfits devoid of logos or monograms.

Notable celebrities who flaunt the quiet luxury style include Gwyneth Paltrow at her ski crash trial:

And the Olsen twins who established The Row.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ashley Olsen (@ashleyolsens)

Money talks, wealth whispers?

There’s an assumption that quiet luxury is akin to the phrase “money talks, wealth whispers”, or the current generation’s version of “old money”, which implies that the truly rich don’t show off with snazzy get-ups.

But that’s not necessarily the case, according to Bryan.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Bryan Yambao (@bryanboy)

The fashion icon rubbished the theory that quiet luxury = true wealth.

“This ‘quiet luxury’ notion that people with ‘true’ wealth only wear discreet, conformist UNIFORMS is nothing but absolute nonsense. Banal, rebranded. It’s not ‘luxury’ per se, it’s an old aesthetic rooted in whiteness and deception – dressing in a uniform manner to control how people perceive them.”

Working in the fashion industry, Bryan says, has given him access to the most “toe-curling exclusive events” in the past two decades, where he’s met all sorts of obscenely wealthy people.

And there’s no standardised way of dressing among these folks: they’re “equally as chic and as awfully tacky (or fabulously vulgar) as someone with lesser economic means”, apparently.

Bryan continued:

 “To say that ‘really rich’ people don’t wear logos, let me debunk that with an image of one of Bernard Arnault’s sons backstage at the Blackpink concert — in a sequined Celine jacket with a massive logo on the back.”

Bernard Arnault, who owns LVMH and has a net worth of US$240 billion (~S$321 billion), recently overtook Elon Musk as the wealthiest person in the world.

His son, Frédéric Arnault, 28, is currently the CEO of Tag Heuer (Bernard has five children in total).

Photo via Frédéric Arnault’s Instagram page

The back of the jacket. Photo via Mr Porter.

There are also those who live from paycheck to paycheck but fork out for “quiet luxury” items using monthly instalments, or people from generational wealth who shop at fast fashion brands like H&M and Zara, Bryan adds.

Some may also argue that luxury is not a fluid term — the term “luxury” in the fashion world usually implies that something is of excellent quality and limited quantity.

But as Bryan puts it: “True luxury for me is having access to as many choices available as possible and the freedom to wear whatever the hell it is one wants to wear.”

Top image from Loro Piana’s Instagram page.

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