new trend

Luxury Becomes More Discreet

Patricia Abaroa

The fashion world is definitely having a less is more moment, one that calls for elegance and sophistication.


According to a recently published article in the Washington Post, high-end consumers have grown weary of overexposed labels. The newspaper argues that the desire for discretion, in part, comes from income inequality, which has been on the up and up for the last 30 years. The wealthy are seeing ostentatious logos on their designer garments as a target, one that marks them as easy prey for judgment.
Discreet Luxury

While this doesn’t stop people from purchasing high-end goods, the focus in the world of luxury items is shifting from instant logo recognition to subtlety and impeccable craftsmanship. For high-end shoppers who know their fashion, tell-tale logos are excessive as others in their social circles recognize designer’s creations through tactful details. There’s also another factor playing into consumers staying away from prominent labels: exclusivity and individuality will never be uncool. More on haute couture and the season’s fashion trends.

So is this a call for reinvention for fashion firms who have long thrived on brand recognition through logos? It certainly seems so. While it has been a pretty lackluster year in terms of consumer spending, some fashion firms have seen an increase in their sales. Saint Laurent and Miu Miu are two of these labels and both rely very little on logo placement.

Saint Laurent’s sales have more than doubled since Creative Director Hedi Slimane took the reins and rebranded the firm’s ready to wear collection as Saint Laurent. The renaming wasn’t without controversy, but attention to quality throughout all products have skyrocketed the firm’s spot among luxury shoppers. The company has kept their famed YSL logo but uses it sparingly on their handbags and cosmetics.
Discreet Luxury

Since 2012, Miu Miu has also found a new way to set themselves apart from the rest of the fashion world firm by relying on film and launching the Women’s Tale series of short films. The firm has partnered with well-known female directors to create short films that feature the brand’s collections.

Sandro is another retailer whose sales have been on the rise. A firm whose designs are on the more affordable end of the spectrum, Sandro offers a broad range of pieces that are expertly crafted and cool. According to The Washington Post, there’s a reason high-end consumers are flocking to brands like Sandro: experiences are trumping material goods. The wealthy are now looking towards that vacation to the United Kingdom (the number one travel destination among the rich this summer) or enjoying an excellent dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant in place of purchasing designer garments.

The fashion world is having a less is more moment, one that calls for elegance and sophistication. Consumers are insisting that fashion houses shine through flawless craftsmanship and unique design with distinctive, yet subtle detailing. This is great news for fashion lovers, as we should expect to see great design flourish through rebranding, reinvention or just plain out of the box thinking from some of our favorite labels.  ■

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