You could sit for hours and people watch in the streets of Chengdu, China.
Why? The fashion.
Walk down the streets of any major city in China and you’re bound to see Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Moschino and all the other designer brands that you drooled over on Instagram but can never afford. Almost every other person that walks by is sporting some kind of designer something.
All this high fashion might leave you wondering why luxury fashion is so prevalent in China? The answer might be found in Hollywood’s newest blockbuster, Crazy Rich Asians.
The movie crazy rich Asians just released on August 15th, 2018 following the story of an NYU professor, Rachel, accompanying her boyfriend, Nick, to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. When Nick tells Rachel that his family is “comfortable” she has no idea about the world she will be limo-riding into when their first-class flight reaches the ground. Immersed into a world of luxury cars, mansions and synchronized swimmers, Rachel is not sure how this is even real.
Crazy Rich Asians is not just a fantasy movie though, it’s real life.
Have you ever heard of UHNWI? Probably not. It just sounds like another long acronym for some type of organization. It stands for Ultra-High Net-Worth Individuals, basically meaning people with over 30 million dollars in investable assets. How nice it must be to have that kind of money, wonder if they would like to sponsor all of our college tuitions? Good luck finding them as they only make up 0.003 percent of the population.
According to Investopedia, China has the second highest share on UNWHI population, right behind the United States. Not only do they have the second largest population of UNWHI, they have had the biggest changes in the number of UNWHIs in the country.
This only begins to explain why luxury products are so prevalent in the streets of China. According to Forbes, “Chinese shoppers represent 32% of the global luxury industry.” That’s almost half of the entire global luxury industry. This could also explain the scene in Crazy Rich Asians in which Astrid, Nick’s cousin, does not hesitate to drop $1 million dollars on some killer diamond earrings.
However, these statistics don’t account for every person in China, they only account for a small percentage of the population. Even so there is a new, young generation of wealth in China that is unafraid to spend, especially on luxury.