Who Makes Davos Attendees Look Like Ordinary People?

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Photo: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The World Economic Forum at Davos this week might look like the most perfect possible representation of the global one percent, but, as noted rabble-rousing agitprop publication Bloomberg points out, that's until you consider the nearby town of Klosters, which is currently hosting its eighth annual snow-polo tournament. There, the tough decisions include "whether to drink Taittinger or whisky-infused hot chocolate, and which piglet to back in the afternoon race." Horses are fitted with snow grips, and the goal posts are shaped like Champagne bottles.

The tournament is popular with wealthy Brits and Europeans who want to piss on their legacy. No, really. It was founded by a man whose family company is called The Golden Throne, which sells "luxury" port-a-potties named after European monarchs. So far, models include the Elisabeth, the George, and the Sissi (an Empress of Austria). The event is now being used as a marketing tool for the Thrones. Other luxury brands also market to the crowd there.

The resort’s association with the royal family makes Klosters the ideal place for London-based Hackett to promote its clothing that is a “romantic vision of Englishness,” said Jeremy Hackett, 58, the firm’s co-founder, who arrived in an Aston Martin Rapide.

“I feel like James Bond arriving in Zurich into a Cold War sort of atmosphere,” said Hackett, adding that polo helps give his company “authenticity.” “It’s a way of adding credibility to the brand.”

Though Occupy Wall Street has targeted Davos (building igloos to withstand the weather), they've so far given Klosters a pass. Maybe because it'd be too difficult to get through to them, according to one protestor. “These people are not really connected,” said David Roth, president of Switzerland’s Young Socialists. "They don’t relate to the problems of the world.” *

* The original version of this post contained a reference to Duran-Duran playing both Klosters and Davos; the group in fact only performed at Klosters.