Lifestyles of the super rich

The people at Trendwatching.com have wonderfully identified the most absurd aspects of avarice assigned to what they call UBER PREMIUM, “status-craving consumers hunting down the next wave in über-exclusive goods, services and experiences that are truly out of reach for 99.9% of the MASS CLASS.” The statistical trip alone is worth the visit to their newsletter (e.g. “The combined net worth of the absurdly rich rose 16 percent to USD 2.2 trillion in 2004.”).

But the trend watchers also point to something that gives me hope:

Oh, and for those of you who are freaked out (or outraged!) by this display of excessive consumption, find consolation in the following: parallel to UBER PREMIUM, GENERATION C continues to grow. And for members of GENERATION C, status not only comes from what they consume or experience, but also from what they create. So will creativity become an alternative source of status? That could actually make UBER PREMIUM one of the last gasps of the consumer society as we know it in industrialized nations.

Or how about the notion of luxury shifting towards something less influenced by the aspiration to consume like those richer than you; and instead find value and satisfaction (hell, even status!) in having more time to oneself, or spending more time with one’s family and friends, or in new forms of spirituality?

The problem with the “last gasps of the consumer society” is, of course, that the society hasn’t a clue what to do next. This is where the cultural changes are and will be taking place in the years ahead. Fascinating stuff.

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