Keep it on the hush

Unless you’ve been kept busy with the superyacht cruise of your life in recent years, you’ll be familiar with the term ‘quiet luxury’. It refers to a lifestyle characterised by understated elegance and the act of refined consumption. It’s about an emphasis on exclusivity and discerning taste without overt displays of wealth. Unlike ‘stealth wealth’, which signals hidden riches, quiet luxury indicates subtly signalling. In summary, if money talks, wealth whispers.

The phrase might be new, though the trend itself is not. The UK’s ‘green welly brigade’ — used to describe the countryside elite — is just one example. However, the concept has risen in popularity recently, largely as part of a backlash against conspicuous consumerism. Any ostentatious display of wealth is considered poor taste amid the current geopolitical climate and global financial inequality. While the appetite for luxurious things is not waning, there is a preference among the ultra-wealthy to underplay their hand.

Status is now subtly exhibited through expensive, yet inconspicuous, personal items. Discreet wealth is only apparent to those who know what to look for. Gwyneth Paltrow’s courtroom attire — casual woollen knits that speak ‘working mum’ yet cost €1,385 from Loro Piana – epitomise the soft approach to power dressing. Implied wealth is the opposite of dressing to impress. After all, logos are of little importance when quality is everything. Superyachts are often singled out by the media as symbols of excess, and yet, when properly considered, there are many examples of superyacht builds that reflect quiet luxury in motion; quality designs from heritage brands with longevity baked into their DNA.

If quiet luxury underlines privacy, yachts are the ultimate secluded retreat. They place emphasis on experiential spending by providing unbeatable guest service and experiences. Superyacht crew represent one of the most well-regarded service economies in the world. And with the average wait time for a custom delivery estimated to be around four years, a yacht build represents quality and craftsmanship over any fast consumerism alternative.

Last year Heesen delivered three full custom yachts: 80-metre Genesis, the world’s largest and fastest all-aluminium motoryacht with a conventional propeller propulsion system, 67-metre Sparta equipped with a Japanese inspired wellness area, and 69-metre Ultra G designed with the owner’s dog in mind. These three yachts, each showcasing the individuality of their owners, served as opportunities for Heesen’s skilled engineers and build team to demonstrate the Dutch shipyard’s expertise.

Quiet luxury also places an emphasis on more conscientious purchasing. Project Jade, the third sister in Heesen’s impressive 50m class, is a fast-cruising yacht powered by green ocean engines. Project Orion, the third in Heesen’s advanced 50-metre FDHF aluminium series, is equipped with hybrid propulsion to deliver a silent cruising capability and flexible power management for maximum energy efficiency. Demand for alternative fuel packages is only set to increase, which is why Project Grace, delivering in Spring 2024, is also available with hybrid technology.

Of course, it’s not only efficient hull designs and sustainable technologies that single yachts out as quiet luxury candidates. Understated interiors, such as that found aboard Project Jade, colour within the same lines. Crafted by Cristiano Gatto, the cool tones and textured finishes reflect natural light and create an inviting and warm canvas ready to receive an owner’s personalised touch. Then there’s 57-metre Akira with an interior conceived by British design studio Harrison Eidsgaard that uses environmentally friendly fabrics, including wood and leather, alongside high-grade finishes.

In theory, quiet luxury should balance timeless appeal with seasonal desire. HBO’s hit television series Succession, which portrays some of New York’s most wealthy wearing expensive, yet subtle pieces of fashion and holidaying away from crowds aboard superyachts, has been attributed with fuelling the trend. Viewers became so enthralled by the on-screen wardrobes that it spawned the term ‘Succession core’, a play on the better known ‘billionaire bore-core’ that alludes to fashion with no labels, gaudy details or flashy embellishments.

Regardless of preference, quiet luxury walks the fine line between style and substance. When done well, quality is left to speak for itself.

Brian Cox from HBO’s hit television series Succession

Written by Julia Zaltzman.





Mark Cavendish   Chief Commercial Officer

| Robert Drontmann   Sales Director

Heesen Yachts North America

Thom Conboy   Agent North-America, Mexico, Bahama's & Caribbean