The Wolf of Wall Street depicts greed, pleasure, sex, drugs and above all else, unbridled displays of luxury. It should come as no surprise that a movie with such themes results in a deluge of brands appearing on screen, and most of them them associated with luxury. However, many of them are also associated with some less than positive aspects of the film such as drug consumption, intoxicated driving or police investigations.
Watches tend to be a rather discreet prop in movies, and Wolf of Wall Street is no exception. However, almost every dodgy business character is seen at one point or another with a golden watch, and the closer shots confirm that many are Rolexes. This depiction associates Rolex with business, success and luxury but also with dishonesty and sleezyness.
Whilst the Rolex logo is never seen, nor is the brand named, there is one scene where the watch is quite visible as Leonardo DiCaprio motivates his sales force and ends a passionate speech by proclaiming “At least as a rich man, when I have to face my problems, I show up in the back of a Limo, wearing a $2,000 suit, and a $40,000 gold fucking watch!” and throwing his gold Rolex GMT Master into a crowd of stock brockers who pounce on it.
Ray Ban sunglasses make at least two clear appearances. Worn by Leonardo DiCaprio, both before he makes it big, in an intimate scene with his wife, and then later on as he chases police investigators off his yacht. It is interesting that Ray Ban is shown at these points in time and implies that the brand is not necessarily one of extreme luxury, but that it can be.
In the latter scene, Leo wears his black Ray Ban Wayfarers whilst wearing a Ralph Lauren polo shirt.
The “Ralph Lauren Scene” is undoubtedly the one in which Jordan Belfort faces off with his nemesis, FBI Agent Patrick Denham, played by Kyle Chandler, for the first time aboard his yacht. The almost 8 minute scene shows long shots with the recognisable polo player logo clearly visibly.
This clearly associates Ralph Lauren with relaxation, yacthing and of course luxury. The length of time the logo is on screen, the positive associations and the visibility of the logo make this a great showcase for Ralph Lauren. The only negative aspect of this sighting is that it is seen whilst the character wearing it is being informally interrogated about illegal business practices by the FBI.
Whilst the Jordan Belfort’s Lamborghini Countach is associated with luxury, wealth and success and gets a good few minutes on screen, it is shown in a scene where Leonardo DiCaprio’s character not only drives high on drugs but also appears extensively on screen dragging himself to the car drooling an barely able to move due to his intoxication. It is also later revealed that he in fact trashed the car driving it in such a state.
Nike shoes are also seen extensively in this scene showing the terrible of effect of the Quaalude drugs. Whilst being associated with luxury, they are worn very casually, and are seen a lot on screen whilst their wearer crawls around incapacitated by his high.
Other Car Brands
Two Ferraris are seen driven by Jordan at the height of wealth, both times associated with sex. The first – a red, then white Testarossa 512 TR – is seen in the beginning of the movie, showing Jordan Belfort driving whilst received a blow job from his wife and mentioned in the voice over. The second – a 1986 Testarossa – is seen later on, incidentally as he recounts courting his aforementioned wife. This portrays Ferrari not only as luxury vehicle and symbol of success but also as a seduction tool.
A 1995 Lincoln Town Car Stretched Limousine is seen driving Jordan to work at the height of his power.
A Mercedes-Benz S-Klasse [W140] is seen chauffering the band of dishonest businessmen when they arrive in Geneva.
Two Rolls-Royces are clearly seen in the movie. One – a Silver Spirit – driven by Jonah Hill’s character as he swerves seemingly intoxicated to an illegal money drop, and another in a cringeworthy low-budget commercial shot by Jordan Belfort late in the movie as he attempts to make an honest living as a motivational speaker.
Versace is THE brand worn by Margot Robbie, throughout the movie, as the movie’s muse and the apple of Jordan Belfort’s eye, from the scene in which she is introduced, wearing Versace 477/B 915 sunglasses, to her donning hanging Versace earrings when Jordan presents her with a yatch as wedding gift.
Versace is associated with beauty, sexyness, male attraction and of course luxury. And important fact is that whilst Mrs Robbie’s character does nothing to discourage Jordan’s bad habits when they first meet, she is never seen indulging in anything sinful beyond some playful seduction and sex and hence does not associated Versace with drugs, intoxication or anything that could risk making her look too trashy, as opposed to most of the brands associated with Leonardo DiCaprio’s character.
The perfect counter example to the depiction of Versace, is Chanel. Whilst its exposure is very limited, a Chanel bracelet cuff is clearly seen on the wrist of a naked prostitute during an orgy in a private jet, as cocaine literally flies through the air.
Chanel is also mentioned in the background as one of Jordan Belfort’s few female colleagues is being arrested by the FBI and yells “This fucking Chanel!”
Another Fashion Brand that does not go without notice is Steve Madden. The footwear brand is actually very much imbedded in the plot as Belfort and his crew attempt to use the brand’s IPO in one of their schemes. The shoes are shown very quickly as is the man the himself, but not much is said or shown about the brand beyond its corporate running.
Finally let us not forget Forbes magazine. Whilst the magazine and its logo are only seen one in the hands of FBI Agent Patrick Denham, it is mentioned at a key point of the movie by Jordan Belfort as he is interviewed by the magazine. Being written about in Forbes is portrayed as being a great honour and an effective piece of publicity – the shot following the article being published is of candidates fighting for a job at his company – despite Jordan complaining the article was critical of him. Ultimately, the fact the that the movie is supposedly named after the Forbes article about Jordan Belfort is the ultimate endorsement of Forbes as THE publication of reference when it comes to business.