Many designer items can be identified within seconds thanks to OTT logos and flashy prints, but there are certain luxury pieces that require a trained eye in order to spot them among the crowds. Unlike a Gucci belt or a Fendi printed scarf, these "stealthy" pieces are treasured for their modesty and simplicity. Simply put: If you know, you know.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have mastered this stealth approach to luxury fashion with their label The Row, which creates "quiet" pieces in high-quality fabrics. There are a number of other designers who shy away from loud branding and focus on the quality and long shelf life of their designs. If you buy a Blazé Milano double-breasted blazer or a Valextra Iside bag, you are making a purchase for life. Many of the items on our list are the same season after season and remain popular years later.
Keep scrolling to see and shop our edit of the best minimal designer buys.
1. Acne Musubi Bag
Acne is arguably the leading designer brand for minimal pieces, and the Musubi bag is simple but will never be boring.
2. Blazé Milano Blazer
When it comes to tailoring, Italian brand Blazé Milano has mastered the perfect blazer. You will never need to buy another blazer again.
3. The Row Lady Di Shoes
The Row's take on a ballet pump—and they're named after Princess Diana.
4. Valextra Iside Bag
Valextra was founded in Milan in 1937 and has become one of the ultimate stealth wealth labels. The signature Iside bag has no obvious branding and an unusual—but not attention-seeking—silhouette.
5. Acne Studios Scarf
An Acne Studios scarf is one of our ultimate timeless buys.
6. Laura Lombardi Hoops
Brooklyn-based jewellery designer Laura Lombardi always creates the perfect hoop earrings that are simple yet distinctive.
7. ATP Atelier Sandals
These leather slides have become a Scandinavian classic and have a truly original silhouette.
8. Comme des Garçons Play Top
This red heart is one logo that minimalists approve of.
9. Church's Boots
According to the Church's website, this brand dates back to 1675 and the first shop was opened in Northampton in 1873.
10. Max Mara Coat
A Max Mara belted coat is arguably one of the ultimate classic designer buys.
11. Prada Platforms
Sienna Miller often wears Prada suede and velvet platforms.
12. Tiffany & Co. T-Bangle
Tiffany & Co. also does rings and necklaces in this elegant T-shape.
13. Roger Vivier Pumps
The Très Vivier shoes are a Roger Vivier signature loved by Blair Waldorf—and us.
14. Celine Sunglasses
Whatever the season, whoever the creative director (and whether it's "old" Celine or "new" Celine), the sunglasses will always be one of the most coveted designer fashion items.
15. Common Projects Achilles Trainers
These all-white trainers with a small gold serial number across the ankle have long been a favourite for those averse to flashy trainer trends.
18. Loro Piana Cashmere
Girls with no budget will likely prefer the super-luxe cashmere from Italian brand Loro Piana. Of the very highest quality, a top tip from our inside sources is to actually buy men's versions—a cooler fit and occasionally a lower price point.
17. Hermès Oran Sandals
You may not even know where the trend originated for this kind of simple leather sandals, but trust us when we say it's Hermès and the hugely sought-after Oran sandals. They come in many colours (and even in a heeled silhouette) but a pair in tan is a forever kind of purchase.
18. Annoushka Alphabet Pendant
Annoushka's diamond-encrusted alphabet pieces have become something of a must-have in fashion circles. Whether you opt in for the pendant or a ring, it's one of those subtle little trinkets many will admire for a long time to come.
19. Bottega Veneta Intrecciato Weave
Bottega Veneta's signature Intrecciato weave has been at the very height of luxury for some time, despite the many (quite poor) copycats out there. It now comes in so many different leathergoods, from wallets to clutch bags, totes to shoulder bags. It's one of those finishes that will never date.
Opening Image: Style Stalker