Don’t Despair: Some Members of the Ultra-Rich are Still Spending

Via Bloomberg, we’ve received confirmation of something we’ve suspected since the beginning of this whole economic meltdown thing: Really wealthy people are still buying really expensive stuff. Sure, they’re making some surface changes, but the ultra-rich aren’t going to cancel Christmas just to make everyone else feel better.

Take, for example, Karina Bignone, an American interior decorator based in Milan, who canceled her 10th anniversary party because it "didn’t feel right to send out invitations" but still managed to pick up "some 2,000 euro dresses from Lanvin and Balmain for year-end festivities, 600 euro shoes from Jimmy Choo and a 5,500 euro brown Birkin") While the merely comfortable forgo highlights and skip trips, it seems that "most people worth at least $30 million are not facing a personal liquidity crisis and expect to spend as much or more this holiday season than they did last year."

And what, specifically, will they be spending on? We’ve distilled the piece to its most interesting elements—the description of luxury goods and their respective prices—into a summary for you to jealously peruse (or use for gift inspiration, depending on what’s going on with your bank statement).

In Milan, rich people are still buying one of a kind, diamond clasped Hermes bags ($191,000) from fancy showrooms. Jeweler Mario Buccellati just sold "a 150,000-euro handmade silver set with a champagne cooler" to a Russian client, while a U.S. customer ordered a 90,000-euro pair of gold and diamond earrings for his wife after seeing a photo on the Internet. 

In Florida, it’s gold and topaz Gucci earrings ($73,000) and Bottega Veneta crocodile handbags ($75,000). In New York, personal shopper Kathleen Beckett says an Australian client "spent $100,000 this year on clothes, including Tom Ford, Alan Flusser and Duncan Quinn designs" while a Finnish lawyer "spent $20,000 in four hours on clothes with brands such as Jussara Lee and Shelly Steffee" last month. 

Meanwhile, in Russia, Chanel "sold a 6.3 million ruble ($225,000) white alligator purse with a diamond-encrusted clasp last month, while Louis Vuitton‘s Stoleshnikov store sold five out of six mink coats in stock for between 620,000 rubles and 1.1 million rubles. Vuitton’s Gum store on Moscow’s Red Square also sold a made-to-order Louis Vuitton steamer trunk for 610,000 rubles."

And worldwide, people are still shelling out for Yves Saint Laurent‘s 19,000 euro Uptown crocodile handbags and 17,000 euro mink coats. Mulberry sold all 20 of its 2,000-pound ($3,000) Ostrich Bayswater bag in six weeks.  Don’t Despair: Some Members of the Ultra-Rich are Still Spending