Saturday, December 3, 2016

Luxury Gifts for the Rich and Super Rich!

One of the most vexing problems that pops us every year around this time is what kind of holiday gift do we buy for our rich friends - those who already have everything, and need nothing? As head of household and personal assistant to my employer, this falls on my shoulders as well, every damned year. But if you have a couple of minutes I can share with you how we handle things around here.    

First off, you can always resort to the Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalog, filled with exquisite expensive gifts that appeal to many. This is especially useful for our new-rich friends who are still in the process of accumulating their accoutrements, and probably don't mind if they're receiving the same kind of gifts that thousands of other new rich might also be receiving.

But for the discerning super rich (who already have everything in the NM Catalog) things are a bit more tricky. For these folk you'll need to be looking for specialty items - unique, perhaps hand-crafted, and definitely one-of-a-kind.

To this end, you might take a leisurely stroll through the secretive London Silver Vaults, as recommended by our friend Grant Harrold the Royal Butler, to find just the right thing for your picky rich friends.

You might also turn to highly-specialized websites like Von Urbanovsky - a well-famed and impassioned designer redefining luxury, who believes in the power of ancient craftsmanship - who creates and manufactures exquisite gifts, jewelry and objet d'artes by pure inspiration. (And the CEO Joseph Reisz is directly available to discuss prices.)

On the other hand, and on a lighter/cheaper note, if you know your rich friend's interest in high-tech gadgets, there's always Hammacher Schlemmer. It's not about money here - just fun, play and amusement for the latest stuff that's out there.

Or even more frivolous, how about this? An exquisite box of FIVE potato chips for $56! That's like $11 per chip! Check out St. Eriks if you think I'm kidding! (How many boxes do you think it would it take to get through a football game?)

Personally I always recommend booze for our rich friends, as an easy way out. But this can be tricky as well. Don't give wine unless you're familiar with the recipient's preference in varietals. Otherwise it will wind up in in the kitchen, in Chef's hands, to be used for cooking. Brandy is a better choice. I always recommend a nice cognac from the Grand Champagne region in France - roughly $5.000 to $25,000 per bottle. No one, no matter how rich could resist a gift like this,

I hope this post has been helpful, if not completely absurd! But buying gifts for the rich always poses huge headaches. Seriously, fortunes can climb or fall over a simple faux pas in this area.

Here's hoping your holiday shopping is going along smoothly, without any of this nonsense!

Andrew


Saturday, November 19, 2016

How Rich People Celebrate Thanksgiving!

Well crap, the election in America has absorbed all our attention for the last many months, but suddenly there's Christmas decorations all over the place and here we are with Thanksgiving right on top of us! There'll be friends popping in for the feast of course - but alarmingly there'll also be family showing up for an unpredictable amount of time. God have mercy!

To sort this all out, if you have a couple of minutes let me try to describe the differences between how the super rich celebrate the holiday compared to all the rest of us peasants.

PARTY STYLES: First and foremost, if this is a big event for friends and associates, did you send out Save-the-Date notices followed by a formal invitation for the Thanksgiving feast? Do you have an events planner to coordinate everything? A caterer to make all the food and a bartender to serve up the libations? Do you have Valet Parkers engaged at your front door? Did your groundskeepers properly light up your runway and helicopter landing pad, according to FAA guidelines?  And last but hardly least, have you hired security guards to surround your house and protect all the diamonds, pearls and haute couture furs coming through your front door, not to mention all the luxury cars parked outside? If our answer is "No" to any of the above questions, then we're quite possibly in the peasant class.

MENUS: Yes, my observation is that the rich usually have a traditional turkey on the table. But there might also be other exotic fowl as well, such as Egyptian pheasant under glass, or bacon-wrapped grilled quail. To the traditional turkey-dressing and green-bean casserole, add some $2,500/ per pound truffles and a couple of pounds of Almas Caviar (roughly $25,000) and you've got a nice spread for your fancy friends. Is this similar to your table? If not, then I'm afraid we're peasants without pheasants.

GUESTS: Do your over-night Thanksgiving guests have their own private bedrooms, complete with marble bathtubs, cable TV, internet connectivity, and an Upstairs Maid to tidy up their mess? Or, are your guests sleeping on pull-out sofas, palates on the floor, or perhaps in your four-wheel camper outside? If so, then we're in danger of being considered not just peasants but very near Trailer Park trash as well.

BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING: While many of us might be standing on line at retail stores and slugging it out for Black Friday bargains, I assure you the super-rich will be sipping Mimosas on their yachts or sunning themselves on a Caribbean beach somewhere. When it comes to what they want, cost is not even the slightest consideration. Of course, if they do want bargain prices for some of the perfunctory gifts they have to give to business associates and the like, then they'll send out their Personal Assistant, Personal Shopper, or some idiot like me to stand on the long lines.

So that's about it. I hope this hasn't been irritating, but the divide between the rich and all the rest of us is so very enormous. Personally I'd rather be sleeping on a pull-out sofa or a palate, surrounded by loving family and friends, than by an impersonal Upstairs Maid who wishes you'd get out as soon as possible, or perhaps never having shown up in the first place. :)

Best wishes to all for a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving!

Andrew