[NOTE: IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT EACH FASHION TRIBE, START HERE]
You've long suspected the rich are getting younger & wealthier and you'd be right - particularly in the case of the ultra-wealthy - meaning a net worth in the tens of million$ according to the UBS/Wealth-X 2013 World Ultra Weath report. (image)
But what I found fascinating about the members of this uber-elite group interested in expanding their fashion & style horizons - a tribe I've dubbed Supremium for now...but am still toying with - is that they might not really know how. How is this possible? Because most didn't come from serious money, they made it - which took all of their time, leaving none left over to peruse the glossy magazines & press the rest of us were weaned on where we learned everything important about what we aspire to have. Aspirational goods generally achieve that status via a one-two punch of luscious advertising spreads that run month after month and year after year combined with breathless editorial write-ups (one of the perks of paying for luscious ad spreads for years on end). Together, the overt marketing of the ads and soft-touch of the PR puff pieces dressed up as editorial educate us about why Brand A is so desirable and Brand B is so cool this season. (A $1.9 million Hermes diamond-festooned Mini, anyone?)
However, unless the luxe brands are buying pages in trade publications in industries such as waste management, landscaping, transportation, hedge funding, manufacturing, convenience stores & info-technology'ing - where many of these fortunes are made - the Supremiums will probably remain uninspired to splash out because they haven't been educated to. (image)
Take Supremiums like Larry Ellison who founded Oracle - he was raised by relatives in a two-bedroom apartment in a blue-collar nabe of Chicago while Googler Sergey Brin lived with extended family crammed into a three-bedroom apartment in pre-Glasnost Moscow. Meaning both are first-generation gazillionaires, like the majority of Supremiums. They spent all their savings & went up to their eyeballs in credit-card hock to fund their businesses, not their lifestyles. And any spare time they had was spent reading trade mags in order to figure out how to fatten the bottom line.
Which leaves savvy brands huge opportunities to school hapless but willing Supremiums as to why a brand is different from the rest, what makes it $pecial & why people should aspire to spendy aspirational goodness. These aspirational brands just need to be willing to plunge into less glamorous latitudes where the A-list names-to-know include "Waste Age" ("Serving professionals in the waste management, recycling, landfill and garbage professions"), "Convenience Store News", "Elevator World" ("The Magazine of the International Building Transportation Industry"), "Chain Store Age", "Beef Today" (for beef producers, large & small), "Parking Today", "Pizza Today" and "Pipeliners Hall of Fame News" - all actual trade mags & all "awesomely titled" as Mental Floss observed.
Be sure to give a listen to the podcast I recorded about the Supremiums and shopping:
- Lesley Scott