March 14, 2010 at 2:00 am 4 comments

Have you been prudent with your spending since the GFC smacked us in the collective chops? I know I have. I still spend here and there but lots of things I’d like to buy, I just don’t. I stop and think: is this a necessary item? Do I really need ANOTHER handbag? I try not to buy what I call frivolous things – magazines, that extra latte, another lipgloss. I slip up from time to time. But what I’m doing is changing a habit and this takes time. The habit of having the desired item NOW. The habit of thinking I need to have what everyone else has. The habit of buying for the sake of buying.

Although the global financial hissy fit put a temporary dampener on The Brands, things are now looking up for luxury goods. There has been a rebound in spending on luxury items but the stuff I’ve been reading about is frankly insane. Would you pay US$25,000 on a pair of diamond-encrusted gold sunglasses? Or $7,990 on a designer-name grey beaded dress? Or a crocodile handbag for $30,000? I’d like to think, even if I had the kind of money to plonk down on diamond-encrusted sunglasses, I would not do it because of my new-found frugality. Or just because I think it’s not right to spend such exorbitant amounts on stuff when there are people doing it tough out there or living in abject poverty.

Apparently, the luxury goods market saw a 15% increase in sales in February 2010 over the same period in 2009. And in January 2010, there was an 8% increase over January 2009. In Asia, demand for luxury goods is projected to grow by 12% a year and will reach US$258.7 billion in 2016. But returning buyers are discreet. They are spending big but expecting quality and uniqueness (guess it’s unique to have diamond-encrusted sunnies). And because the market is less crowded, due to some high end luxury brands like Yohji Yamamoto and Christian Lacroix going belly up, the pointy end of the luxury goods market has to be good, really, really good. Quiet, understated luxury is in; garish, tasteless bling and gaudy designer stuff is out (note to rap artists: you might wish to reconsider the heavy gold chains and those huge diamond-studded dollar signs hanging off your necks).

So what are the rich and famous buying? Here’s a run down:

This is the ‘it’ bag of the moment by Roger Vivier and called Miss Viv. Price tag US $13,000. Notice how there are no logos, which seems to signal a shift away from brazenly advertising the brand. It’s an elegant, sophisticated handbag. So ladies: if you have an extra $13,000 to spend, it’s all yours. Or if you prefer, for $25,000 you can pick up the Lana Marks multi-colour Positano alligator tote.

If you can splurge $25k, you’ll be the happy owner of these Ilori diamond-encrusted sunglasses above. I have to admit I’m not into shoes so I don’t get the Chandelier shoe below – Prada’s lucite shoe with crystal detailing and priced between $800 and $1800. They apparently sold out before they even hit retail shops.

Because I love earrings, I understand the Ivanka Trump 18k white gold signature oval pave diamond drop earrings. Price tag $10,500. Mmmmm…..think I could pick up something in Diva for around 50 bucks. Fake but prudent bling!

Above is the Balmain cotton canvas studded military blazer for $6,225. And the pièce de résistance:

London based jeweller, Solange Azagury-Partridge’s “Random” necklace, sported by Sarah Jessica Parker on the Sex And The City 2 poster. This necklace (a stunner there is no doubt) is a whopping $198,200.

The splurging of thousands of dollars on luxury items does not sit well with me. It reeks of people who are all about ego and status and those concerned about what other people think of them.  I would hope that the GFC has taught us to think more carefully about how we use our money. What do you think?

Entry filed under: Reflections. Tags: , , , .

Imagine Purrrrr

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Andrew Hill  |  March 14, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Hi Kim,

    Please watch this TED talk on happiness ( Lets lose the IF, THEN mentality and tap into our essence.

    That said, let’s use the brands for their original purpose. I trust a certain brand of shoe (that costs more than three times as much as others) because I just threw a pair out that I bought when I was 16, and had two soles replaced before the uppers finally gave out.

  • 2. Stephen Byrne  |  March 14, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    I always liked the ad that was popular in HK (I think it was for Longines watches) … “if you flaunt it, you obviously haven’t got it”. Perhaps Roger Vivier is going after that market.

  • 3. thinkingshift  |  March 15, 2010 at 3:54 am

    Thx for that Andrew, I’ll watch the TED video. Stephen: hope you’re not giving Catherine grief 🙂

  • 4. fourpointzero  |  March 17, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    I simply idolized your blog! I love your post about shopping. This would be very helpful in promoting thinking to humankind. Keep up the good work! More power to you.


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