The first in a series where we shine a light on specific articles of interest on the luxury world. We link to other published reflections and observations on luxury.
The Monaco Yacht Show is coming up on 28 September and has always been one of the bellwethers of super luxury consumption.
So, here we applaud The New Yorker’s amazing exploration of the world of super, mega and giga-yachts, which shows that, despite global economic turmoil, big boats are booming.
It was published in the print edition of the July 25, 2022, issue, with the headline 'The Floating World.'
It’s good reading if you want to truly understand 'conspicuous consumption'.
As one super rich individual puts it:
“The boat is the last vestige of what real wealth can do. You have a chef, and I have a chef. You have a driver, and I have a driver. You can fly privately, and I fly privately. So, the one place where I can make clear to the world that I am in a different f*cking category than you is the boat.”
We learn about where the yachts come from and how they are sold. How staff must adhere to the culture of secrecy, enforced by NDA's. A big yacht is effectively a corporation with a rigid hierarchy and no H.R. department.
We learn about the hierarchy on board: the most delicate duties tend to trickle down to the least powerful.
On a well-staffed boat, the 'interior team' operates at a forensic level of detail and the superlative standards of service.
In a companion blog to come about how luxury will survive, this reminds us – as the piece says, that with enough access and cash, you can ride out almost any storm.
Note the Guardian’s recent piece that the number of global ultra-high net worth individuals has hit a record high:
"The ranks of the global 'ultra high net worth' individuals swelled by 46,000 last year to a record 218,200 as the world’s richest people benefited from 'almost an explosion of wealth' during the recovery from the pandemic.”
The yachting article is here.
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