Conspicuous consumption re-emerging?

Is subdued behavior of the recession fading? There are hints that conspicuous consumption is back. Not surprising since the wealthiest consumers are regaining confidence and luxury retail is gaining momentum. According to the latest survey by American Express and the Harrison Group, consumer spending is expected to increase 8% this year to $359 billion excluding travel and cars.
It seems that the subdued fashions of the recession years are fading as wealthy Americans are not only shopping again, they’re showing off their purchases. The trends emerging from New York and Milan fashion weeks were more embellished and opulent looks than in recent years, with intricate beadwork and dazzling embroidery. The style dominated the fall 2011 shows of some established American and European brands including Carolina Herrera, Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren, Emilio Pucci and Oscar de la Renta as well as rising stars like Jason Wu and Joseph Altuzarra. “We were going through a time of minimalism for quite a few seasons and it was time for an optimistic feeling, something more decadent,” Mr. Wu was quoted, who used more embroidery in his fall collection than ever before.

In travel, the luxury hotel travel segment is experiencing the fastest comeback according to industry analysts, though admittedly, it suffered the most so has the farthest to recover. A sign of the more flush times: media pages are filling once again with coverage about over the top services, rather than the ubiquitous deals of the past two years.

In this month’s Travel + Leisure: London’s Berkeley hotel will provide a steamer trunk curated by Carmen Haid of vintage e-boutique delivered to your suite for dressing up for a night out on town. In fact, in the latest issue of Conde Nast Traveler, their “Hot List” section zeroed in on all “those little details that elevate our favorite new hotels from likeable…to lovable”.

We’re advising our clients to focus on these breakthrough details – in fact, The Marquis Los Cabos recently debuted its new approach to service, “Customized Luxury.” From mini-indulgences menus to indulgent fantasy services and programs, the hotel allows guests to personalize their hotel stay, creating a bespoke, luxury vacation experience.

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