The Rise of Quiet Luxury

How Brands Are Thriving in this Moment, and What Retailers Today Are Getting Right

The fashion industry has witnessed a recent trend toward the concept of “quiet luxury.” This term denotes the discreet yet luxurious clothing offered by high-end brands such as Loro Piana and Brunello Cucinelli, which exude an understated sophistication and refinement.

Several factors have contributed to the rise of quiet luxury. One such factor is a response to the ostentatious “loud luxury” aesthetic prevalent in pop culture. Additionally, the current economic climate has prompted many consumers to prioritize long-term value and invest in higher-quality, timeless pieces.

Another contributing factor is the popularity of shows such as “Succession,” which has also played a role in the influence of quiet luxury as of recent. The characters are often adorned in classic, refined pieces that exude sophistication. This has helped fuel a growing consumer demand for similar styles.

Nevertheless, the quiet luxury trend’s exclusivity fosters a sense of inclusion among consumers, as only a select few can purchase products at such exorbitant price points. Paradoxically, this feeling of exclusivity is driving more consumers to aspire to join this group. And that’s the momentum Brunello Cucinelli is tapping.

Reflecting on Brunello Cucinelli’s Q1 2023 Performance

Brunello Cucinelli


During the first quarter of the year, the Italian luxury group, known for its cashmere clothing, experienced a sales increase of 33%. The surge in sales was primarily driven by the Americas’ performance and a resurgence in Asia, indicative of the growing quiet luxury trend.

Brunello Cucinelli noted that the increased demand in North America appeared to be a permanent trend, while the encouraging trend in China reinforced the group’s prospects in this crucial market. In the quarter ending March, the company reported sales of $290.6 million and reiterated its expectation of a 15% sales growth for the year.

And while Brunello Cucinelli did not disclose what cohort of consumers were driving their revenue growth, other than region, it’s safe to assume that it was the type of consumer who was willing to pay $4,895 for a cashmere sweater.

How to Help Consumers Shop the Quiet Luxury Look

Whether a consumer explicitly searches by the trend name “quiet luxury” to explore new brands and styles, or visits their favorite luxury brand’s website or store, there’s a high-intent shopper ready to be impressed.

It’s in this early discovery phase where nothing says “you get me” more than relevant search results and recommendations, and unfortunately—the opposite is also true. Every “No results for quiet luxury” or irrelevant product result (ahem, “luxury headphones”), is a missed sales opportunity and a poor customer experience.

Let’s take a quick look at how brands and retailers are delivering on the quiet luxury experience for consumers looking to achieve the look.

What Brands and Retailers are Getting Right When it Comes to Quiet Luxury

Quiet Luxury Top search result on Bloomingdale's


When searching “quiet luxury tops” on Bloomingdale’s, products from Alberta Ferretti, Helmut Lang, Gerard Darel are returned – all brands that help customers create that “quiet luxury” or “old money” aesthetic. The same can be said when searching for “quiet luxury pants” as Bloomingdale’s returns clean and tailored options from Theory, Marni, Vince, ALLSAINTS, and more.

Let’s Look at a Missed Opportunity

Quiet Luxury Top search result on Net-a-Porter


When searching for “quiet luxury top” and “quiet luxury pants” on NET-A-PORTER, the response page indicates that there are no results matching the request. This is a missed opportunity as NET-A-PORTER is renowned for curating product assortments that fall under the quiet luxury category, with designers such as The Row, Brunello Cucinelli, and Loro Piana, as well as those who can help consumers achieve the look, such as Gianvito Rossi, Maison Margiela, and TOTEME.

But Wait, There’s More

Whether consumers are discovering new brands or looking to achieve a quiet luxury look on any budget, one thing is certain: consumers are searching and shopping the quiet luxury trend.

In part 2, we dive deeper into this aesthetic and explore how to create a sense of quiet luxury through understated design, subtle branding, and attention to detail. Check it out!

Trend Identification in the Age of Social with Lily AI

Learn more on how trend identification is consolidated and applied for Lily AI customers, straight from Lily AI’s top domain experts in our latest webinar, “Trend Identification in the Age of Social.”
Watch the Webinar
Female shopper looks for retail products online from her couch.