Stealth wealth & Champagne?

Picture of Björnstierne Antonsson

Björnstierne Antonsson

Björnstierne Antonsson aka TheChampagneSommelier read an article on Stealth wealth – the dress code of the really rich. Can this be translated into the world of Champagne? [read the full champagne story] 

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

This year’s hottest trend: Rich on the sly. This is stealth wealth.

It was all a perfect storm: at the same time that the final season of the television series Succession premiered, Gwyneth Paltrow went to court for a skiing accident in Utah. The Hollywood actress and the wealthy media moguls of the HBO series wore the same kind of understated luxury.

Logos were missing, color scales were toned down, materials expensive.

Instead, the exclusivity of the clothes – and thus the person’s wealth – was signaled with secret little codes: a clever little seam in the hem, a simple hoodie that turned out to be tailored in cashmere.

Soon everyone was talking about the year’s hottest trend: stealth wealth.

Just as the term says, it is a fortune that goes under the radar, that doesn’t make a fuss, says fashion lecturer Philip Warkander. It exists but does not take up space. Stealth wealth is seen in good quality, fit and neutral colors. It’s an aesthetic that’s noticeable also by what it’s not: it’s not synthetic materials, garish colors and big logos.

Stealth wealth – also called quiet luxury – is nothing new.

The phenomenon can be traced all the way to the 18th century when the French monarchy fell. Wigs and powdered faces were replaced by sober costumes as a new way of expressing taste and power. Around a hundred years later – in 1899 – the term “conspicuous consumption” was coined in the book The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorsten Weblen.

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