The concept of ‘New Luxury,’ which is a more experience-forward avatar of Luxury, is not a new idea. It’s where the want to possess gives way to seeking new experiences where branding transcends online-offline to become more omnipresent and On-Demand. This want and need for brands to be everywhere was probably the spark that ignited Logomania. We saw monograms take over every square inch of human retail space. Like always some brands got this right and some did not. Once a logo defector, I have come to appreciate some of the heavy and bold visual statements that pay homage in a contemporary way to long-existing brands.
However, towards the later part of 2023 along with ‘New Luxury’ we saw the birth of ‘Quiet Luxury’ or the so-called ‘Old money trend’ inspired by the secret lives of the extremely rich. The hashtag #oldmoney has gathered 2.5 billion views on TikTok, with brands like Hermes, Loro Piana, Zegna seeing double-digit growth. The ‘Old Money’ aesthetic is not so much about wealth as it is about exuding confidence, it transcends social classes and breaks free of social hierarchy. It’s about quality over quantity, experiences and products that can last a lifetime – the true allure of craftsmanship!
Among men, the ‘Quiet Luxury’ trend isn’t new and has always been in existence, be it in the form of Italian Sprezzatura or American Prep, a timeless allure, where sartorial and practical elements take over from the need to be seen. It’s a restrained and nonchalant way of expressing yourself. You can blame shows like Succession that have exposed this trend to a wider audience – the dysfunctional Roys with their obscene money and penchant to spend it.
We can pursue attaining the ‘Old money’ status or look in two ways, drop more than a few hundred dollars on those Loro Piana loafers or a few grand on a bespoke suit, both of which are great investment pieces.
For me, I tend to fall back on certain must-have basics, and a few statement pieces. It is about exploring and finding brands that define you, that enable you to be true to yourself and the best expression.
Let’s start with the wrist, a watch is an essential mark on a man, my preference falls more towards mechanical than smart, I never leave home without my Panerai Luminor, with its distressed leather strap and bold case, it’s reassuringly big. It’s a lesser-known brand of watch but with a long and coveted nautical history that makes for a fascinating read. If you’re not one for a large dial, try the new Luminor Due range with its small case dimensions.
Next for me are Suede loafers. Loro Piana or not, Hackett does a good pair for those of you who suffer wide feet like mine and may be better suited for the rugged streets of urban India.
Clothes have to be an extension of you, so wear what our comfortable with, just avoid massive logos and heavy prints. Make sure your trouser is cut to length, sitting above your hips and finishes just above the heel bone, gone are the tight uncomfortable fits, relaxed and easy is in.
In today’s lifestyle, the stigma around smoking cigars has diminished, however, it is very important to know what you’re smoking. Major Cuban brands like Cohiba, Parthagas do a great job, but it’s also good to explore other Cuban variations like the Epircure Special by Hoyo de Monterey or the Magnum 46 from H Upmann. Less pricey options like the Cuatro Cinco Reserva Especial Torpedo from Nicaragua or the Punch Signature Gigante from Honduras make for a great afternoon smoke, try them with something fresh like your favourite gin and tonic.
Quiet Luxury gives you the freedom to pursue your passion and make very individualistic statements, maybe a good way to discover who we are today and what we want to be tomorrow can be through understanding what experiences and products you aspire to.
About the author: Bhagath Reddy is the Founder of Comte De Grasse, a luxury liquor-tech company.
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