Talk to them long enough, and you’ll hear an interesting undercurrent running through the conversations of many highly wealthy people: despite the bravado that many project externally, internally they feel quite vulnerable. They are deeply concerned with security, and with minimizing their dependence on outsiders or on the government for anything related to the health and safety of themselves and their families. With all due respect to John Donne, some people want to be an island unto themselves, and they have the means to make it happen.
In our multi-part exploration of the secret lives of well-off dogs, it’s time to talk fashion. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the great European luxury houses have responded to the desire to treat our dogs as we do our children by launching designer apparel and accessories for the canine contingent. Pucci has $350 dog carrier, and Louis Vuitton goes them one better with a monogrammed one for $965. Pet bling is a thing, too, and there are reports of an owner spending $250,000 on a diamond dog collar.
Well, I’ll be doggone. It turns out that dogs are a luxury good. Who knew? The wealthier you are, the more likely you are to own a canine. While 51% of American households own a dog, a recent survey by the consultancy Spectrem Group reported that of Americans with more than $5 million in net worth, 74% own at least one dog. Need further proof? Beyoncé and Jay-Z just bought their first dog.
Do words like exclusive, private, dues, waiting list and members-only excite you? If so, you’re not alone. Do they make you anxious or even angry? Ditto. This is a tension I frequently hear about from friends, acquaintances and family. And it’s also an interesting driver of a poorly understood, yet enduring luxury business: the private club. Why, despite economic downturns and cultural changes, do elite private clubs still exist? What's the source of their appeal? Here's our take on why private clubs have such enduring appeal for the elite.
A headline crossed our desks recently that caught our attention: Business Insider reported that the Neiman Marcus “Fantasy Gifts” catalog this year features more frozen food than ever. The showcase offering is a stuffed pork crown roast for $410 plus shipping. Which made us ask: is luxury frozen food now a thing?
One of the most important luxury events of the year is the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance vintage automotive show (the name means “a competition of elegance” in French). It’s held on the California coastline the third week of August each year, on the 18th hole of the Pebble Beach golf course, and it attracts car owners, restoration experts and car buffs. Imagine your local annual auto show, at your city’s convention center. On massive amounts of steroids. That’s what this is like.
I will never forget the first time someone asked me the question (it was circa 1990). My husband and I had just arrived on Martha’s Vineyard, and we ran into a fellow Harvard Law School grad. After the usual air kisses and humble brags about work, she asked when we had arrived on the island. And where we were staying. Then came “The Question”: Do you rent or own?
Everyone has their favorite technology: Amazon’s Echo, Snapchat, HTC’s Vive headset. Mine remains my smartphone. Specifically, the features on my Apple that save me time and aggravation.
Our friends in Silicon Valley have given us a glimpse of the future of luxury, with the advent of “smart.” There is a smart version of almost everything on the market right now: watches, bikes, desks, suitcases – and, of course, cars.
Unless you have been hiding underground or you’re on an extended beach vacation, surely by now you know that Pokémon Go is the new viral sensation sweeping the globe. Now available in most countries around the globe (with the exception of Saudi Arabia where it has been banned) the game, a mash-up of AR and Pokémon, has captured the imaginations of legions of users, and had some very interesting second-and third-order effects even in its first week post-launch. Players are clearly having great fun, but they’ve also been robbed, accused of trespassing, and scolded for making noise in the middle of the night.