Luxury Shopping in China When the Sky’s the Limit

Versace. Louis Vuitton. Chloé. China’s one percent can afford high-end brands, but knowing how to pronounce the labels indicates you’re in the uppermost crust of the upper crust. See how the country’s affluent population is learning to navigate the nouveau riche lifestyle

Released on 1/5/2015

Credits

Director: Lauren Greenfield
Producer: Lauren Greenfield and Sandra Keats
Executive Producer: Frank Evers
Editor: Miranda Yousef

Director of Photography: Shana Hagan

Transcript

00:02
[Woman] Ve-sa-chee.
00:03
[Instructor] Versace.
00:04
[Woman] Versace.
00:07
Dolce and Gabbana.
00:11
Gucci.
00:14
Gucci, Gucci.
00:17
(laughs)
00:18
Wealth and class have always gone hand in hand.
00:21
The difference today versus in dynastic times is
00:24
that wealth is branded.
00:28
That's why many people are pretty fixated
00:31
on being able to properly pronounce
00:34
foreign luxury brands.
00:39
Louis Vuitton.
00:42
Louis Vuitton.
00:43
Okay.
00:44
When you say LV, it's not nearly as sophisticated
00:47
as the ability to pronounce with the proper French accent.
00:50
Louis Vuitton.
00:52
[Woman] Loui, Louis Vuitton.
00:57
We're not just talking about luxury brands, we're talking
01:00
about the ability to navigate a luxury lifestyle,
01:03
and that needs to be mastered like anything else in life.
01:12
A lot of the wealth in China is self-made.
01:14
Several hundred billionaires are self-made.
01:18
Over a million millionaires are self-made.
01:21
All the rich in China are only nouveau riche.
01:31
I love it.
01:32
(laughing)
01:33
The sophisticated woman is willing to spend
01:36
a lot of money on very expensive articles.
01:41
However, she should spend her money wisely.
01:48
Bargaining in China is a mark of clever resourcefulness.
01:57
We do have a culture
01:58
of conspicuous consumption.
02:08
In China, luxury is associated with upward mobility,
02:12
forward momentum, progression in life.
02:16
It is an investment that needs to yield dividends
02:19
on the journey towards greatness.
02:22
In restaurants, in shops,
02:31
Chinese like to sparkle,
02:33
but they don't like to shine.
02:35
You have to on one hand stand out, that's projective.
02:39
But you also need to fit in,
02:41
so bling needs to be very understated.
02:45
For example, the mobile phone.
02:48
Take a look at the back of that Apple gold phone,
02:49
it's perfect, it's matted gold.
02:52
Even I have been forced to use an Apple gold phone.
02:58
However, the design inside the home is
03:01
significantly flashier, more Rococo.
03:06
[Interviewer] And who are you wearing today?
03:14
Understatement has a different threshold here.
03:27
(upbeat music)