Chinese Parvenus Still Seek Status
And LV and Gucci still represent it.
This article on the condition of the China luxury market at Luxury Society quotes me about midway down. The main thesis is that Chinese continue to love buying luxury goods – the rate of growth in their consumption is the big bright spot for the industry – but they prefer to spend in Hong Kong and abroad due to lower taxes and wider selection. Those who can afford luxury goods can also buy a plane ticket and are eager to do so since foreign travel may be an even bigger status symbol than a braided Bottega Veneta. The main reason to invest in a shop here is to educate Chinese consumers so the brands are already by the time they arrive in Tokyo or Paris.
Th Financial Post (Canadian) echoes the theme that China’s luxury goods market is still buoyant. The article cites a study by New York’s Pao Principle that claims China’s elites buy Prada and Cartier to set themselves apart from their peers. Perhaps they should have said that the new rich buy luxury to differentiate themselves from the peasants and signal that they are members of an elite group. They seek to show that they are keeping up with their peers by buying the same stuff. Those appearing on Stylites want to show, through consumption choices and other methods, that they are not part of the crowd.