Luxury | Inconspicuous consumption | Economist.com

Luxury | Inconspicuous consumption | Economist.com:

The number of luxury buyers in the developed world is also being swelled by two other trends. First, consumers are increasingly adopting a ?trading up, trading down? shopping strategy. Many traditional mid-market shoppers are abandoning middle-of-the-range products for a mix of lots of extremely cheap goods and a few genuine luxuries that they would once have thought out of their price league.

But perhaps the true symbol of exalted status in the era of mass luxury is conspicuous non-consumption. This is not just the growing tendency of the very rich to dress scruffily and drive beaten-up cars, as described by David Brooks in ?Bobos in Paradise?. It is showing that you have more money than you know how to spend. So, for example, philanthropy is increasingly fashionable…

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