Everyone’s Over ‘Quiet Luxury.’ Here’s What’s Next - Kanebridge News
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Everyone’s Over ‘Quiet Luxury.’ Here’s What’s Next

Cosy silhouettes and sumptuous fabrics were throughlines of the fashion collections shown last week in Milan

Tue, Feb 27, 2024 8:47amGrey Clock 3 min

“Quiet luxury” has become a bit of a dirty phrase in Milan. To some at the Italian brands that embody the term , it’s reductive—an overly TikTok-ified way of describing classic, refined clothing. Many fashion industry people roll their eyes when it comes up.

Brunello Cucinelli , one of the kings of natural textiles, prefers the term “gentle luxury.” At his fall presentation in Milan this past week, the (extremely expensive) clothing at which he excels looked especially touchable. Cashmere sweatsuits were layered with blanket-like scarves and silky suiting hung in loose pleats. Even an evening look, composed of a black sweater tucked into a feathered skirt, appeared comfy. Holding a pillowy bag, one Brunello disciple called it “accogliente”—Italian for “cozy.”

One step beyond coziness is protection, and there was plenty of that in Milan, too. Chalk it up to an uncertain luxury market , the roiling geopolitical climate or global warming, but using clothing as a sanctuary seemed to be on many designers’ minds. For some, like the excellent Brioni La Donna and Loro Piana collections, that means impeccable tailoring and forever-worthy double-breasted coats. Others, like Luke and Lucie Meier at Jil Sander, took the cocooning more literally, making succulent, quilted floor-length capes.

Not everyone is swaddling themselves in shearling. Architect Bianca Censori, who joined her companion, the rapper Ye, at the Marni show, wore a mere scrap of leather that failed to cover her buttocks among other body parts. No protection needed—except her bodyguard.

The Look of Love at Prada

Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, the co-creative directors of Prada, are on quite a roll. If you were feeling hyperbolic, you might even say that they’re making fashion history. The duo’s fall collection started with thinking about love, explained Simons backstage, but “all the elements of love,” including loving your home, or even loving your sheets. There’s that theme of comfort again.

That manifested in a romance for different eras of fashion, remixed: A Jackie O. linen shift dress shot through with a streak of shearling. A leather bomber jacket embellished with “1913,” the year Prada was founded. A twin set in shocking red and ultraviolet. High-tech nylon jackets in midcentury couture shapes.

“There is no way to think about the future unless you have a good understanding of the past,” said Simons.

Everyday Allure at Bottega Veneta

In less than four years, Matthieu Blazy has completely renewed Bottega Veneta, making it a cult spot for creative types that want unique clothing and accessories with plenty of craftsmanship. Without succumbing to naked dresses and other revealing gimmicks, the brand appeals to a broad demographic, as shown by front-row neighbours Julianne Moore, 63, and A$AP Rocky, 35.

The fall collection, Blazy said backstage, was a “celebration of the everyday.” He found himself thinking about the allure of everyday clothing on his nightly dog walks. This meant recognizable pieces like peacoats, skirts and sweaters, reduced to their essential essence but rendered fabulous through textile innovation and fabrication. A simple yellow evening dress had a shirred-fabric fraying (not unlike recent work by Phoebe Philo ) and a long column skirt boasted leather plumes.

Blazy wanted to express resilience, he said, like flowers blooming in the desert. Fittingly, he designed giant Murano glass cactus flowers to decorate the show space.

Womblike Sumptuousness at Jil Sander

Real life crept into the fashion bubble on the day of Jil Sander’s show, when guests were confronted with a triple-whammy of rain, traffic and multiple public protests that closed the streets. Supermodel Mariacarla Boscono, like several models and editors, had a harrowing trip from Dolce & Gabbana to Jil Sander, and was swept right into hair and makeup and then onto the runway. Wearing the first look, a cocoon-like rounded red suit, Boscono was worth the wait.

Jil Sander put forward an extensive 68-look collection chock-full of satisfyingly sumptuous pieces. Chunky knitwear was sheathed in fine netting, tailored pieces were lined in silky quilting. Coats in deer leather and Himalayan goat fur looked like outerwear for an Icelandic wedding.

Androgynous Realism at Tod’s 

At conservative Italian stalwart Tod’s, Matteo Tamburini executed an impressive debut. Upon arriving from Bottega Veneta in December, the first thing Tamburini discussed with Tod’s group boss Diego Della Valle was the need to create “desirable objects.” “You don’t want to have a big fashion show and then find nothing in the store,” said Tamburini after the show.

So in just a few short months, Tamburini was able to create a tightly edited women’s collection full of androgynous separates and light, appealing accessories. Stylist Brian Molloy, who’s also worked with The Row and Hermès , worked magic with restraint. One supersoft foldable tote big enough for a laptop had a slit at the top so it could fit under your shoulder—easy stuff that merits a high price tag.


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To Find Winning Stocks, Investors Often Focus on the Laggards. They Shouldn’t.
By KEN SHREVE 12/06/2024

These stocks are getting hit for a reason. Instead, focus on stocks that show ‘relative strength.’ Here’s how.

Wed, Jun 12, 2024 4 min

A lot of investors get stock-picking wrong before they even get started: Instead of targeting the top-performing stocks in the market, they focus on the laggards—widely known companies that look as if they are on sale after a period of stock-price weakness.

But these weak performers usually are going down for good reasons, such as for deteriorating sales and earnings, market-share losses or mutual-fund managers who are unwinding positions.

Decades of Investor’s Business Daily research shows these aren’t the stocks that tend to become stock-market leaders. The stocks that reward investors with handsome gains for months or years are more often  already  the strongest price performers, usually because of outstanding earnings and sales growth and increasing fund ownership.

Of course, many investors already chase performance and pour money into winning stocks. So how can a discerning investor find the winning stocks that have more room to run?

Enter “relative strength”—the notion that strength begets more strength. Relative strength measures stocks’ recent performance relative to the overall market. Investing in stocks with high relative strength means going with the winners, rather than picking stocks in hopes of a rebound. Why bet on a last-place team when you can wager on the leader?

One of the easiest ways to identify the strongest price performers is with IBD’s Relative Strength Rating. Ranked on a scale of 1-99, a stock with an RS rating of 99 has outperformed 99% of all stocks based on 12-month price performance.

How to use the metric

To capitalise on relative strength, an investor’s search should be focused on stocks with RS ratings of at least 80.

But beware: While the goal is to buy stocks that are performing better than the overall market, stocks with the highest RS ratings aren’t  always  the best to buy. No doubt, some stocks extend rallies for years. But others will be too far into their price run-up and ready to start a longer-term price decline.

Thus, there is a limit to chasing performance. To avoid this pitfall, investors should focus on stocks that have strong relative strength but have seen a moderate price decline and are just coming out of weeks or months of trading within a limited range. This range will vary by stock, but IBD research shows that most good trading patterns can show declines of up to one-third.

Here, a relative strength line on a chart may be helpful for confirming an RS rating’s buy signal. Offered on some stock-charting tools, including IBD’s, the line is a way to visualise relative strength by comparing a stock’s price performance relative to the movement of the S&P 500 or other benchmark.

When the line is sloping upward, it means the stock is outperforming the benchmark. When it is sloping downward, the stock is lagging behind the benchmark. One reason the RS line is helpful is that the line can rise even when a stock price is falling, meaning its value is falling at a slower pace than the benchmark.

A case study

The value of relative strength could be seen in Google parent Alphabet in January 2020, when its RS rating was 89 before it started a 10-month run when the stock rose 64%. Meta Platforms ’ RS rating was 96 before the Facebook parent hit new highs in March 2023 and ran up 65% in four months. Abercrombie & Fitch , one of 2023’s best-performing stocks, had a 94 rating before it soared 342% in nine months starting in June 2023.

Those stocks weren’t flukes. In a study of the biggest stock-market winners from the early 1950s through 2008, the average RS rating of the best performers before they began their major price runs was 87.

To see relative strength in action, consider Nvidia . The chip stock was an established leader, having shot up 365% from its October 2022 low to its high of $504.48 in late August 2023.

But then it spent the next four months rangebound—giving up some ground, then gaining some back. Through this period, shares held between $392.30 and the August peak, declining no more than 22% from top to bottom.

On Jan. 8, Nvidia broke out of its trading range to new highs. The previous session, Nvidia’s RS rating was 97. And that week, the stock’s relative strength line hit new highs. The catalyst: Investors cheered the company’s update on its latest advancements in artificial intelligence.

Nvidia then rose 16% on Feb. 22 after the company said earnings for the January-ended quarter soared 486% year over year to $5.16 a share. Revenue more than tripled to $22.1 billion. It also significantly raised its earnings and revenue guidance for the quarter that was to end in April. In all, Nvidia climbed 89% from Jan. 5 to its March 7 close.

And the stock has continued to run up, surging past $1,000 a share in late May after the company exceeded that guidance for the April-ended quarter and delivered record revenue of $26 billion and record net profit of $14.88 billion.

Ken Shreve  is a senior markets writer at Investor’s Business Daily. Follow him on X  @IBD_KShreve  for more stock-market analysis and insights, or contact him at  ken.shreve@investors.com .