Consultants at McKinsey, who have somewhat famously infiltrated Condé Nast in three phases over the past couple of years, project that within four years, China will become the world's largest luxury market. The country does seem to be on track with that projection, with Burberry planning to open an additional 43 stores over the next five years, an estimated 960,000 millionaires residing in the country, and Hermès having launched a sub-brand just for China called Shang Xia. So many moneyed (and even not-so-moneyed) folks who are hungry for luxury goods have created quite a lovely problem for Chinese Vogue:
Angelica Cheung, the Chanel-frocked editor of Vogue China, has a problem her counterparts would sell their designer wardrobes for: too much advertising to fit in the glossy.
"I have to sit down at a desk to flip through it," she says. "It is going to get very difficult to read. It's too heavy. Maybe it will have to be two magazines in future."
Oh SIGH. Also remarkable is that while some women with modest salaries will eat ramen noodles for weeks to afford a Louis Vuitton
status symbol handbag, "men account for 45% of China's $1.2bn luxury handbag market," according to the Guardian.
Prada shoulder bags and Gucci clutches are essential props for many businessmen. And if they are not carrying their own status symbol, young men may wield one on behalf of a girlfriend.
Buying a partner an expensive handbag establishes you as husband material; carrying it for her is also appreciated, so it is not uncommon to see burly young men gallantly toting pink or diamante-studded bags.
Quick, ladies! E-mail this post to your men, with the subject "Buy Me Shoes!" Then quit your jobs and go home and make him rump roast so he buys you diamonds next!
(These exclamation points mean we're kidding!)