The Rise of Stealth Wealth and Hermes

Etriers

Member
Sep 2, 2019
680
2,766
East Coast
Hi all, I’ve been seeing a lot of articles recently about the growing trend of the Uber-wealthy to go low-key. The term that’s being used is “stealth wealth.” First, do you think that’s actually happening? And second, since H generally doesn’t do overt labels or logos, I’m interested in whether that influenced your choice of H as a brand, or if it influences your choice of certain bags within H.
 
May 30, 2020
162
612
Hi all, I’ve been seeing a lot of articles recently about the growing trend of the Uber-wealthy to go low-key. The term that’s being used is “stealth wealth.” First, do you think that’s actually happening? And second, since H generally doesn’t do overt labels or logos, I’m interested in whether that influenced your choice of H as a brand, or if it influences your choice of certain bags within H.
Part I: yes, I see it happening in my social circle/area.

Part II: A lot of them don’t even care about “brand” lol. But they recognize and comment on well-made items you have, whether it be handbags, clothing... I don’t care for logos and prefer to not have monogram logos.
 

hgbag

Leather LVer
O.G.
May 20, 2008
530
148
I will be following this closely....very interested. As much as I think Bs are beautiful for others, I do not want to carry one in my area because I do not want my bags identified as H. There are people in my community who only know Birkins and H belts. I love H because of the beautiful leathers and colors. I prefer to carry a low key style (my current fave is a GP) with a beautiful H rainbow inside.....because it makes ME happy when I see it.
 

Etriers

Member
Sep 2, 2019
680
2,766
East Coast
I will be following this closely....very interested. As much as I think Bs are beautiful for others, I do not want to carry one in my area because I do not want my bags identified as H. There are people in my community who only know Birkins and H belts. I love H because of the beautiful leathers and colors. I prefer to carry a low key style (my current fave is a GP) with a beautiful H rainbow inside.....because it makes ME happy when I see it.
Hi, What I found interesting when I got my B is that nobody noticed it. I was so self-conscious at first, but it went completely unnoticed in my general community. I likely appeared wealthier carrying my LV bag at a fraction of the price.

What appears to be the case with Bs is that the people who know, know (in which case it may not matter) and to those who don’t, it’s just another tote bag. There are one or two shopping centers in the metropolitan area where everyone seems to be carrying or wearing very expensive clothes/jewelry/accessories, and in those areas apparently it doesn’t matter either because I just blend in. I’ll be interested to hear other impressions.
 

880

30th anniversary cuff
O.G.
Aug 31, 2008
9,098
17,835
I don’t care for logos and prefer to not have monogram logos.
Agree with this. Also agree with Etriers than no ones notices my birkins. However, I usually carry a 30B Size for the most part and typically carry them back facing outside. They just look like a leather tote. also agree they are relatively common where I am, so I blend in.
 

Etriers

Member
Sep 2, 2019
680
2,766
East Coast
Thank you Étriers for starting the thread.
Love love love the subject
I have refrained myself many times from posting in the unpopular hermes opinion thread about (Old money, nouveaux riches stealth wealth....) and H.
Thank you! It is an interesting topic and I hope some of the brilliant H-loving tPFers will chime in. I’m not sure if Stealth Wealth today is the philosophy of frugality—of living below one’s means (which is how I was raised and how my parents were raised), if it is a style choice—having a billion dollars but preferring to wear jeans, hoodies and trainers; or whether it is true stealth—a desire to have money but not flaunt it, either out of humanism, self-defense, evasion of taxes, or desire to fit into a different social group.
 

Etriers

Member
Sep 2, 2019
680
2,766
East Coast
Part I: yes, I see it happening in my social circle/area.

Part II: A lot of them don’t even care about “brand” lol. But they recognize and comment on well-made items you have, whether it be handbags, clothing... I don’t care for logos and prefer to not have monogram logos.
Why do you think that‘s happening, any ideas? Has it always been the case that your social circle/area tends to eschew logos etc. or is this something new?
 
May 30, 2020
162
612
Why do you think that‘s happening, any ideas? Has it always been the case that your social circle/area tends to eschew logos etc. or is this something new?
It’s always been this way for me, although I’d say there was a bit more leniency in the last decade. Nowadays if you step out in very visible letters/logos you’d look out of place. I think with H you can’t go wrong; maybe except the big H letter items.
 

no_1_diva

The Minimalist
O.G.
Oct 11, 2006
1,446
1,574
Sydney, Australia
Stealth wealth definitely appeals to me, especially with everything that has happened this year.

Since the beginning of the year, I sold my clic-clac, Dior choker, H belt, Gucci Soho Disco and Pochette Metis in Empreinte Noir because the logos felt too loud for me. With the first two listed, it was also because I decided that I won't do costume jewellery anymore.

Instead of the H belt, I have decided to go for the Kelly belt in black with PHW, because it's versatile being one size fits all, a bit more discreet and suits my style better. I love them so much that I am waiting for another one in black with GHW. Then my two belt collection will be complete.

I will admit that I tend to be a bit flashy when it comes to certain shoes, but with my clothes being very basic (solid colours and stripes) and bags being somewhat discreet, I feel like I can get away with it without being OTT. Shoes are the one area I can have a bit more fun. Either that or scarves.

I'm curious to read some articles on this topic though!
 

Liberté

O.G.
Jan 5, 2007
8,525
1,222
Across a pond
You will be able to find articles about this phenomenon from the last financial crisis too. I think BV was touted as the brand of choice for those who wanted to go under the radar back then.

I'm not sure how much reality there is to it this time around because times are different and social media is so important. I think much of the recent logomania has been fueled by social media and street wear, same goes for a lot of "highly recognizable" designs that might as well be labels and logos (like square BV pumps, balenciaga sock shoes, those camel toe shoes by Margiela etc..) . Quality and construction is not as important when something is posted online, especially if the goal is to show off a brand. So I don't think logos will go away completely as long as social media plays such an important role. And now with all the working from home and sheltering in place, sharing and interaction online is more important. There are different style and sub cultures of course in different social circles, but that's always been the case, you wouldn't want to wear an oversized t-shirt with a huge DIOR logo at a law firm .

As for H I think the Kelly closure is fairly recognizable. My impression is that more or less every teen and their parents are able to recognize a birkin and kelly bag around here, and the H belt is fairly common. I would not describe those items as under the radar.
 
Apr 13, 2015
435
1,611
I’ve been through several handbag phases over the years, and definitely went the non logo or stealth way for a while. I ended up not loving those later on.

I just buy what I like and what’s functional for me. My favorite bags right now are the birkin, Chanel classic flap, Chanel reissue, and the Celine luggage. Not so much for stealth in those, oh well. Life’s too short to not wear what I love. I tried so hard not to love the luggage due to its recognizable design, but couldn’t do it!

I agree with the other poster here that the ones who know know. They’d recognize the stealth or the recognizable both pretty instantly.
 
Feb 22, 2020
1,184
3,679
London
I personally dont like anything which screams a brand name-mainly because (rightly or wrongly) I feel it looks like I brought the item purely because of the brand name or wanted to announce that I could afford designer items.
I used to want a Chanel 255 bag but when I actually tried one I felt the bag was 'wearing me' and I would have felt uncomfortable on the underground using it.
The bags I use most are Loewe,and Celine I do however use a vintage Dior 'speedy' holdall covered in the dior fabric logo and for some reason I dont mind wearing that because it looks a little vintagey and battered.
I think overt logo wearing is more popular among the younger generation or people who wouldn't buy designer clothes (aside from a logo sweatshirt etc) but still want to show they have £££.
I actually like the idea of 'stealth wealth' dressing.
A beautiful item of cashmere from The Row or Brunello some beautifully cut trousers and a Hermes,Moynat,Celine Loewe or Row bag I think is incredibly chic with a VCA item of jewellery and a good but not flashy watch.
 

craielover

O.G.
Aug 4, 2007
652
2,584
Bay Area, CA
Where I live, certainly a thing. Carrying a H, wearing head to toe Chanel, driving a tesla etc - these things may show you have good taste, but none tell me you are uber rich.
People who have stealth wealth recognize each other though. There are only a number of ways such wealth can be made in a short amount of time.