22 Dec 2021Spotted'Succession' baseball caps become wealth symbol

The TV series Succession has sparked a change in the aesthetics of wealth. Plain luxury baseball caps with staggering price tags have soared in popularity after being featured on the show, leading a once-exclusive sign of wealth for UHNWIs into the mainstream.

Jonathan HassallJonathan Hassall is a senior behavioural analyst in the data and insights team at Canvas8. A published academic with a master's degree in psychology, he’s brought cutting-edge research techniques to some of the largest brands in the world. He can usually be found immersed in niche musical genres or being a doting father to a panoply of plants and a primadonna cat.

Luxury unbranded baseball caps have become an unlikely status symbol, thanks to their appearance atop the heads of the ultra-wealthy characters featured on HBO’s Succession. Instead of loud branded designer apparel as a message of affluence, the costume designers on the show have turned to ‘stealth wealth’ – prohibitively expensive clothes that, at first glance, are indistinguishable from budget basics. Wanting to adopt the same rich-man nonchalance, people have been turning to influencers like @successionfashion to facilitate their frenzied purchasing of expensive clothing featured in the show. Since the third season of the show began, sales and searches for baseball caps have increased 45%, according to Lyst. Hats from designers like Loro Piana or Zenga can set consumers back by up to £2,465.

When it comes to luxury apparel, much of the appeal comes from the power of a brand's name to communicate status and wealth. But, to some extent, TV shows have introduced the notion that the ultra-rich may shun heavy branding or recognizable iconography, displaying subtleties that only other UNHWIs would notice – small logos and luxury or rare fibers in unassuming garments. The growth of the luxury resale, rental, and grey markets also means such brands aren’t just for the elite anymore. With more people outside the 0.1% adopting these status symbols, the aesthetic difference between UHNWI and average consumer apparel is smaller than ever, allowing brands to redefine what it means to look wealthy.