Last week, the New York Times reported that the very rich ladies in this city have not stopped shopping, despite how “vulgar” it might seem: They simply started shopping in private at shopping parties, private hotel suites, and by-appointment-only showrooms so as not to get tarred and feathered along Fifth Avenue.
Then there are women like Kathy Fuld, wife of former Lehman Brothers chairman Dick Fuld, who, according to The Daily Beast, has been visiting Hermes on a weekly basis and spending between $5,000 and $10,000 at a time. It seems she simply can’t be bothered with this whole saving business right now regardless of how much of a public villain her husband has become. (On the bright side, at least she’s funneling money back into the struggling economy.)
But there are signs that Mrs. Fuld is, like her rich compatriots, feeling the potential public relations blowback. Recently, she stopped in for three cashmere throws at $2,225 each and asked for an unmarked white bag–instead of the store’s signature orange bag–to carry them home in. But that leads us to wonder whether she is hiding her offensive spending habits from the public, or her husband? (According to the article, many shoppers like Mrs. Fuld “are ferrying their purchases home in unmarked bags; delegating delivery to assistants; or manipulating credit card bills to disguise their spending from outsiders—and their spouses” [emphasis added]. Related: Gawker speculates that it was Daily Beast editor Tina Brown who spotted Mrs. Fuld at Hermes.)
After all, Mr. Fuld, who was “terminated” from Lehman without bonus or a severance package, has been making an effort to hide from the public recently; he even sold his private collection of modern art at Christie’s, perhaps to send the message that he, too, now needs to figure out ways to save. A few weeks ago, New York magazine reported that the former chairman has been having trouble sleeping due to the disastrous end of his company.
So pulling up to the Fuld homestead in Greenwich, Conn. with too many Hermes bags to carry may not be the best call right now on Mrs. Fuld’s part. Then again, maybe when Mrs. Fuld gets home she can cover Mr. Fuld with one of those $2,225 Hermes blankets so that he can finally get some sound sleep.