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China’s bling obsession

Russia’s oligarchs better move over. China’s obsession with bling – from the £1.4million sheep to jets, yachts, vintage wines and colourful diamonds – is growing.

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The CLSA reported that Louis Vuitton’s biggest customers are Chinese. At Gucci, 18 per cent of buyers are Chinese, while at Bulgari the share is 14 per cent.

Analysts claim that China’s nouveau riche are not appreciating luxury for luxury – that is, for the sake of its beauty – but as a status symbol.

Hence the demand for yachts, helicopters and dazzling watches in a country that still remembers all too vividly when, as The Economist put it, luxury meant “a short queue for the toilet at the end of the street”.

That, along with a culture of giving gifts, may also explain why the luxury market is equally dominated by men and women – as opposed to the West, where it is mainly women splashing out on luxury goods.

But analysts have claimed that China’s obsession with bling will run out as the country’s taste matures – leaving the market wide open for the buyer of whatever the next million-pound animal may be.

Filed in: World News

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