Money talks and wealth whispers, as they say.
What’s the opposite of a ludicrously capacious bag? A stunningly exorbitant chapeau like the ones Kendall Roy routinely wears, of course. On the HBO darling Succession, now in its fourth and final season, both the dialogue and the wardrobe have a blink-and-you-miss-it quality that means if you get up for a glass of water, you might not catch zingers like Tom Wambsgan’s decimation of cousin Greg’s date’s “gargantuan” Burberry tote — and the obscenely expensive yet seemingly anonymous luxury items worn by the Roy family.
In fact, Shiv, Roman, Kendall and Logan Roy’s wardrobes are so inconspicuously lavish, they appear downright basic. Case in point: Kendall Roy’s hats. To the untrained eye, it looks like Ken, played by Jeremy Strong, might have picked up a multi-pack of yawn-inducing navy baseball caps at Costco for this rich-guy-off-duty wardrobe (you know, the stuff an outrageously moneyed dude might wear to a clandestine weekend meeting). But to someone adept at sniffing out the quiet luxury on Succession, that fitted topper is a marker of the Roy family’s stealth wealth: a cashmere Loro Piana baseball cap that’ll run you upwards of $605 USD. Indeed, money talks and wealth whispers.
With Succession once again firmly embedded in the zeitgeist, the show’s covert displays of affluence are like a Where’s Waldo of fanciness where viewers can trying to spot the Brunello Cucinelli. The same could be said for pop culture moments like Gwyneth Paltrow’s recent ski accident trial in which her subtly extravagant ensembles were deemed “courtcore.” Decked out in a polished assortment of impeccably tailored separates, one would be forgiven for not immediately clocking that GP was sporting low-key opulent labels like The Row, Prada and Celine. As FASHION contributor Natalie Michie writes, “Paltrow’s neutral, well-tailored wardrobe is void of branding but is indeed very expensive. It’s the epitome of quiet luxury, and it’s downright poetic for a case about the inner workings of ski etiquette.” While we can’t comment on the validity of the trial’s ruling, the jury agreed unanimously on one fact: stealth wealth style was served.
Succession’s costume designer Michelle Matland told the Wall Street Journal in a 2021 interview that, as she sees it, the absence of a logo on Kendall Roy’s baseball caps says “there’s no relevant team but…team Me.” The show is about the icky inner workings of a filthy rich family within which, despite alliances being regularly formed, there isn’t an iota of actual trust or loyalty, after all. With just eight episodes of Succession left, we’ll be watching to see which Roy ends up miserably on top.