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Owned Hotels Invite Tokyo to Taste Luxury Anew

The room is not in a palace or traditional ryotei inn, but on the 48th floor of the tallest skyscraper in the Japanese capital. It's part of a suite available to anyone willing and able to pay $2,000 a night to the newly opened Ritz Carlton Tokyo hotel.

Following the Mandarin Oriental, the Conrad, the Grand Hyatt and the Four Seasons, the Ritz Carlton is the fifth five star international hotel chain to set up in Tokyo in the past five years. The newcomers are giving greater choice and better service to the swelling ranks of Japan's New Rich for nights away from home.

They're also squeezing Japan's own upscale hoteliers, whose aging establishments in central Tokyo have come to seem faded and uninspired by contrast. "Japanese hotels have failed to deliver, and many wealthy Japanese have shifted their patronage to the new Western luxury hotels," said Mitsuyoshi Horaguchi, associate professor for hotel business studies at Musashino University in Tokyo.

For decades, real estate prices protected the Japanese hotels. During the bubble economy of the late 1980s, the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo were theoretically worth as much as the whole of California and even the richest international hotel chains couldn't dream of opening in Japan. But after land prices fell to 25 year lows in the late 1990s, they began to move in.

Industry analysts say it's the little things that have cost many Japanese hotels dearly. Foreign hotels offer flexible, spontaneous and innovative services. They might add or remove ingredients from a pasta dish on request, something few Japanese hotel restaurants would do because there the menu, not the diner, is king.

The Ritz Carlton will make an ice sculpture that holds an engagement ring for a man planning to propose to his girlfriend. It also places playful little cards under beds in hopes of wowing fussy and hypochondriac Japanese guests. The cards say: "We cleaned here too."

At the Mandarin Oriental's Tapas Molecular Bar, 14 guests a night eat a 20 to 30 course science experiment like dinner put together by renowned Spanish chef Ferran Adria. The Hong Kong based Peninsula Hotel, which is scheduled to open in Tokyo in September, plans to offer a chauffeur service featuring a 1934 Rolls Royce Phantom.

For its part, the Ritz Carlton is offering a Diamonds Are Forever Martini in collaboration with the jeweler Bulgari. Each $16,000 cocktail will come with a one carat Bulgari diamond at the bottom, and as long as you don't swallow it you can take it to any Bulgari store in Tokyo and have a ring fitted to the stone for free.

"Japanese guests are expecting unique, memorable and personable experience," said Ricco DeBlank, general manager at the Ritz Carlton Tokyo. "I wanted to attract the guests and emotionally impact them not just by the view here but by everything that comes from arrival to departure."

The Ritz Carlton already has 205 weddings booked for 2007, he said. These start at the equivalent of about $24,000 and spiral upwards. For $1 million the hotel throws in the wedding dress, jewelry and a private jet to fly the newlyweds off to a honeymoon in Bali and Milan.

"I found with Japanese that if it is something outstanding the service or room or menu they don't mind paying for it, but it has to be very, very good," said DeBlank.

Kazuko Obata was waiting one recent afternoon for her boyfriend in the lobby of the Grand Hyatt. copy bvlgari wedding ring She had turned 24 on March 13 and was to stay at the hotel imitation ring bvlgari to celebrate her belated birthday. "Foreign luxury hotels let you have a special experience," she said. "The atmosphere is fantastic. If you add surprises, luxury and sophistication to your special occasion, you have great memories. That is what foreign luxury hotels can give. And that is something the Japanese hotels simply can't."

In the 1990s, few Japanese hotels invested in their facilities. To fill empty rooms, they teamed up with cut price package tour companies, which brought in customers by the busload, but further undermined their image for excellence and became fake bvlgari ring one more reason for wealthy Japanese to stay at Western luxury hotels.

At some Japanese five stars, times got so bad that managers investigated the supernatural. The Hotel New Otani is popular among politicians, and had long been considered one of the three best hotels in Japan. bvlgari b zero diamond ring replica But the 1990s downturn in the economy and the subsequent arrival of the luxury foreign hotels left it eerily empty much of the time. So hotel officials hired a shaman cum business consultant. He informed them that the land it was built on was cursed. Hotel staff laying out mounds of salt to ward off evil spirits became a regular sight.

Belatedly, the New Otani is also taking more orthodox measures to increase its allure. By October, it plans to have spent $85 million renovating its facilities. The Imperial Hotel, another traditionally top Japanese name, is in the midst of a $145 million refurbishment slated for completion next year.

"Admittedly, we are not in a situation in which we can be very optimistic," said Ukou Komatsuzaki, spokesman for the hotel, speaking of the foreign competitors. "But we would like to not fear their entering the Tokyo market, but have an adequate sense of crisis to cope with the situation. We are going to do what best we can do. The renovations are to strengthen our competitiveness and brand name."
Aug 30 '17 · 0 comments
Thirteen ways to keep your cool

When everything is melting outside, best to jump into a fridge. The aptly namedIce Bar Melbournein Fitzroy is chilled to negative 10 copy ring bulgari degrees. It's recommended you wear long pants and closed toe shoes but if you can't stomach arriving in that much clothing, they provide snow capes, gloves and ugg boots.

If your focus is more kids than cocktails, put your ice skates onatO'Brien Group Arena in Docklands.

Local councils fork out a lot of money to keep their buildings air conditioned, and libraries are no exception. TheState Library of Victoriahosts talks, workshops, films and heaps of free exhibitions. At the moment you can hear tales of Australians' experience in World War Oneor discover how Melbourne's familiar landmarks have changed over time in David Collopy's display of old and new photographs.

Rachel Zbukvic and Jo Rosin cooling down with a swim at Fitzroy Pool. Photo: Justin McManus

If you're too hot and bothered to get in the car and drive to a pool, why not plan ahead and buy your own? Target is selling blow up pools big enough to fit the whole family.

5. Go to a shopping centre

Big enough for a decent stroll, varied enough to occupy the whole family/day, Melbourne's shopping centres will be an air conditioned oases on hot days. Pick one with a decent food court for breakfast, lunch and tea and possibly a cinema to pass a few hours. Go to the gallery

The state's national gallery is always a bit cooler. That's because the museum standard for keeping paintings safe is 20 degrees. All galleries and museums have sophisticated air conditioning systems in place to keep that temperature stable, so ring bvlgari fake it's an ideal place to come when your house begins to feel like a sauna. There's a solo exhibition of David Hockney's work from the past decade, curated in collaboration with the artist. bvlgari wedding ring replica Creations of Dutch fashion design Viktor Rolf are also on display as well as some incredible jewels by Bulgari, including pieces from the personal collections Elizabeth Taylor and Gina Lollobrigida.

Melbourne's Astor Theatre. Photo: Supplied

8. See a movie

The cinema is one of the most reliably chilly places regardless of the weather. Melbourne has plenty of different types of cinemas to suit all tastes. For art house movies, head to Cinema Nova in Carlton, the re opened art deco Astor Theatre in St Kilda for classics and new releases, ACMI in the city for a documentary or the Lido Cinema in Hawthorn for new releases. It has eight screens including a rooftop cinema.

9. Stay hydrated

The hot weather dilemma: it's too hot to carry anything yet you need all this pesky water just to get through the day. Here's a map of drinking fountains in the Melbourne CBD so you don't get caught short.

10. DIY air conditioning

It's simple and cheap. Make your own air conditioner by putting a bowl of ice in front of a fan. Sit in front of said fan and voila, cold air.11. Spray it, don't say it

Keep a spray bottle of water in the fridge and give yourself a squirt whenever necessary for a refreshing cool down. Add cucumber or lavender and mint for self righteous Bulgari wedding ring copy DIY goodness. Also, you'll be surprised how effective simply dipping your feet in a bowl of water can be. Keep it next to your bed for occasional dips during the night. Add ice cubes for extra satisfaction.12. Get creative
Aug 30 '17 · 0 comments
best holiday park

There is also a bicycle hire shop on site, which can supply bikes for children as well as adults. Our seven year old used her own bike, and the four year old had a tag along trailer which fitted on to the back of mine, which was a great success and meant we could cover more ground than we could using a child's bike with stabilisers.

Norfolk is a great place to cycle as it's generally so flat. This is true of Kelling Heath, and most of the roads and pathways are quiet enough to cycle along calmly, even with children. It's worth taking guidance from the owners of the shop, however, on which routes to take, as there are exceptions. Areas of the heath nearest the coast are deceptively hilly we ended up having to push our bicycles up and down some very steep inclines and the only way of getting into the nearest town, Holt, involves negotiating a busy road.

Perhaps most valuably, as a parent of two easily bored children, there is an excellent programme of activities linked to the local wildlife, including bat watching, pond dipping and small mammal trapping. In the summer this is expanded to include various crafts and sporting activities too. The price of some of these activities, as well as use of the swimming pool and gym, tends not to be included in the various accommodation packages on offer, but they are worth signing up for, despite the extra cost.

The indoor pool at Kelling Heath

We spent a happy couple of hours learning about the mammals that can be found on the heath and went out with a local conservationist who had laid small traps earlier in the day to see if any had been tempted inside. It was a good day, it seemed; five out of six contained a small trophy, from field mice to voles, which snuffled around a bit so we could get a look at them before scuttling off into the undergrowth.

From Kelling Heath it is a few minutes in the car or alternatively a rather hilly walk down to the nearest bit of coast, at Weybourne, which has a stony beach where the children played happily despite a gusting wind for a couple of hours. There was a line of hardy fishermen to watch, and various coves to play in and in summer the paddling is great, unlike many parts bvlgari rose gold necklace fake of the north Norfolk coastline where you have to walk for miles to find the sea. The Victorian pleasures of Cromer and Sheringham complete with fish and chip shops and pitch and putt courses are also only a short ride car ride away, as are the sandy beaches of Overstrand.

Visitors to Kelling Heath have a choice between woodland lodges, of which there are only a handful, all of them newly constructed, and static caravans (or "luxury holiday homes", as they are described in the brochure) which come in various sizes and make up the bulk of the accommodation. You can also camp, or park a touring caravan.

Our cabin was cosy, with two small bedrooms, a living area including kitchen and living room, and a small outside terrace, and had been so recently built you could almost smell the paint. We were very happy staying bulgari necklace fake there for a weekend, but felt it could soon become cramped if you stayed for much longer, especially as there was little space for the children to play in right outside the lodge. One of the three bedroom cabins would have given us more elbow room.

A good point of comparison might copy bulgari necklace be with Sandy Balls Holiday Village in the New Forest, which is built on a similar model, around a purpose built "village" with leisure facilities, restaurants, indoor and outdoor pools and organised children's activities, which this year include falconry, hawk walks and Segway rides. It also offers proximity to stunning walks in the New Forest and along the river Avon, which runs along the bottom of the site, and, and there is the added attraction knock off bvlgari rose gold necklace of an indoor play area, which, though dated is undeniably popular with the under fives.

Like Kelling Heath, it has the feel of a smaller, more charming version of Center Parcs. Perhaps it shows its age a bit as it was built several years ago, but the reasonable prices reflect this.

The important point that unites Sandy Balls and Kelling Heath is that they both, in slightly different ways, offer a springboard to take children into the heart of the English countryside, on foot, along rivers or coast, or by bicycle. If you want to be pampered, look elsewhere. But if you seek a few days in lovely surroundings with plenty to keep the family occupied, either will do very well indeed.
Aug 30 '17 · 0 comments
Luxury goods retailer LVMH adds Bulgari to its collection

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Aug 30 '17 · 0 comments
Something for everybody on the Oscars bulgari b zero ring replica red carpet

The year's biggest night for red carpet glamour included something for everybody in bold colour and soft shades, frothy wonders and sleek, body hugging looks. And there was, of course, plenty of sparkle.

"I was really taken by the super fitted dresses, the very long and lean silhouettes," said Eric Wilson, the fashion news director for InStyle.

Among them was Charlize Theron. She wowed in a red hot Dior Haute Couture in crimson silk crepe. It was ultra low cut with a train and plunged in the back as well. She showed off a long jeweled necklace and joined the party Sunday night in the tight hair club, hers with a deep side part. In all, she wore $3.7 million worth of Harry Winston diamonds.

"She was statuesque and thoroughly elegant," said Avril Graham, the executive fashion and beauty editor for Harper's Bazaar. "She's a designer's dream muse."

Later, as the attention moved from red carpet stunners to little gold statues, presenter Tina Fey classed up the stage in a deep purple custom silk Atelier Versace with pleating detail, her hair also tight and high. She, like so many others, kept jewelry to a minimum with a short sapphire necklace from Bulgari that went nicely with the dress.

"That dress fits her like it was shrink wrapped right on her," Wilson said. "I loved how she matched the necklace."

But it was the whimsy of Cate Blanchett that truly caught his eye and quickly topped best dressed lists. It was seafoam, from Armani Prive, and it included pops of silver in a large floral applique from the shoulders to her train.

"It was my favourite of the night," Wilson said. replica bvlgari ring "There was so much individuality to the look. It looked like a crystal or ice sculpture. It was just so clean and cool looking."

Graham also loved Blanchett's pastel look. "It was really wonderful," she said.

The biggest surprise for Graham was fashion "it" girl Alicia Vikander, who won best supporting actress for "The Danish Girl." While some were not impressed with her bubble hem and pale yellow princess custom Louis Vuitton, comparing her to Belle of "Beauty and the Beast," others were on board. She wore her hair down her back but pulled it up in the front to add to the look.

"I loved it. It gave a girlish feel to the evening," Graham said. "Her low key hairstyle accentuated the sweetness of her look. I think she took the most risks in terms of silhouette. Her look was the most bvlgari men ring replica surprising of all because of its silhouette and its unique point of view."

Margot Robbie stunned in a "va voom" gold gown with a snakeskin design from Diane Von Furstenberg, Graham said.

"It's the fact that she's got that very natural, Aussie beauty. The natural hair and makeup was a perfect foil," she said.

Wilson said Robbie might have gone a bit too Las Vegas over more appropriate Los Angeles.

"It was very flashy. It didn't really feel like an Oscars dress," he said. "It felts like a fun disco dress. It didn't read well on television."

Robbie was shiny, to be sure. Another really shiny moment and really patriotic one was Saoirse Ronan, the Irish actress who chose sparkly, liquid emerald from Calvin Klein. The gown hugged her body just right, her drop Chopard earrings mismatched one in white pearls and the other emeralds. The back was barely there but intriguing with its ultra low cut and a low horizontal strap.

"The jewel tone green was a big story on the catwalks that we've just seen," Graham said. "She said hers was a nod to her Irish heritage. It was lovely. It's a tremendously telegenic colour."

Graham also lauded another of the recent "it" carpet girls, Brie Larson in a belted blue Gucci that was ruffled at the skirt and radiated in a three dimensional way at the chest, as if a TV watcher might want to imitation bulgari b zero 1 ring get up and adjust the focus.

Regardless, Graham called it "ruffles and sweetness."

While colour ranged from the deep purples, greens and a dark black that told a Bette Davis story on Whoopi Goldberg, Wilson said the softer hues might reflect a "kind of easy, calming moment at a time of stress and conflict in the world."

He added: "It feels like fashion is moving in that gentler direction right now with less harsh colours, less neon, less aggressive colour."

Graham called it a safe carpet that had a little something for everybody.

"It gave us the flavour of lots of different elements in beauty and style," she said, "from knockout glamour and sequins and body conscious looks to romantic ruffles and pastels."
Aug 30 '17 · 0 comments
LMVH buys Bulgari in bid to be bling king

As jewel heists go, this was the Big One the richest and shiniest ever.Bernard Arnault, the wealthiest man in Europe, and boss of the world's largest luxury goods empire, LVMH, this week smashed and grabbed his way to control of the officially "unsaleable" Italian jewellery company, Bulgari, bauble maker to the stars.It was, of course, a perfectly legal raid, which could cost LVMH up to 4 billion ($7.6 billion) in shares and cash for a company which has been family owned since 1884.Arnault, 61, has had a long rivalry with the second largest luxury goods empire in the world PPR, built by another French self made billionaire, Francois Pinault.The capture of Bulgari signals war on a glittering new front against Richemont, the jewel laden, third largest global luxury goods empire, based in Switzerland and assembled by South African tycoon Johann Rupert, 60.The commercial clout of LVMH with more than 2500 shops around the world fake bvlgari b zero ring pink gold will be used to challenge Richemont, and its leading jewellery brand Cartier.This will also be a clash in styles between the urbane, arts loving socialite Arnault and the reclusive Rupert.LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) already has many of the greatest names in handbags (Louis Vuitton), fashion (Dior, Givenchy); alcohol (Moet) and perfume (Guerlain).It was, until Monday, relatively light on jewellery and watches, apart from TAG Heuer and Hublot.Although Bulgari is the smallest of the world's leading jewellery companies, it is one of the most glamorous. Past clients include Elizabeth Taylor.The company was started in Rome in 1884 by Greek immigrant Sotirios Bulgari. It has 260 shops worldwide. Market commentators, taken by surprise by LVMH's shopping expedition, predicted Arnault would look for new jewellery and watch making acquisitions soon.They also predicted the deal could set off an avalanche of wider takeovers in the luxury goods sector. Sales to China, Russia and India are booming and Goldman Sachs predicted this week that "600 million new consumers are set to enter the [luxury goods] market by 2025".LVMH's coup in capturing Bulgari frequently said "not to be replica bvlgari ring for sale at any price" interrupted a run of bad publicity for the Paris based company.One of the Arnault empire's "founder members", fashion replica bulgari zero 1 ring house Christian Dior, was trailed through the mud last week by the "I love Hitler" comments of its British chief designer John Galliano (since fired).In recent months, LVMH has been in an acrimonious takeover battle with the posh, French handbag and scarf maker Hermes. LVMH acquired 20 per cent of Hermes shares late last year, despite frequent warnings by the smaller, independent company that such interest was regarded as "hostile".Arnault and LVMH have insisted they are merely courting Hermes in search of "partnerships" and "synergies".The acquisition of the loss making Bulgari seems to have been consensual. After secret negotiations ended at the weekend, it was announced that LVMH would take all the family owned majority stake in the Italian company. LVMH would swap 16.5 million of its own shares for the 152.5 million shares owned by the Bulgari family.This valued the 51 per cent family stake at 1.84 billion. LVMH is also to offer 12.25 a share to other holders of Bulgari equity which could bring the total cost of the deal to 3.7 billion to 4 billion.The Bulgari family will name two representatives to the LVMH board and Bulgari chief executive Francesco Trapani will become head of LVMH's watches and jewellery division.Arnault started with a small family building company in the north of France in 1971. His early wheeling and dealing, to break into the luxury goods market, was often criticised. He has long since become one of the French great and good.He fought, and lost, a vicious legal and commercial battle for control of Gucci with Pinault a decade ago. That aside, he has had few failures.Sources in LVMH said the Bulgari purchase was part of a strategy change. Rather than focus on bvlgari ceramic ring replica its struggle with PPR, LVMH will take on Richemont.The handbag war with Gucci is over. The bauble war has just been joined.Our Regional News StoriesThe Northern AdvocateRSA collection thieves despicable policePolice hunt "despicable" Anzac Day donation thieves.
Aug 30 '17 · 0 comments
Fay Maschler reviews The Culpeper Kitchen

Nico, Gareth and Bash might be characters in a diary kept by a latter day Samuel Pepys. Messrs Treguer, Roberts and (Sebastian) Redford got together to convert what was The Princess Alice opposite Petticoat Lane into a pub, restaurant, bedrooms and rooftop garden named in honour of the 17th century herbalist, physician and astrologer Nicholas Culpeper, whose pharmacy was in Spitalfields. Culpeper treated patients for free and deigned to examine them, not just study their piss as was the habit then.

The trio, dedicated to transforming buildings for their better enjoyment and relevance, have done a magnificent job though it is still a work in progress. Co opting Sandy Jarvis, formerly chef at Terroirs off Trafalgar Square, into the kitchen has injected clever culinary solidity into the foundations.

Up a gracefully curving staircase Jarvis and his team can be found on the first floor, where the kitchen reaches into the dining room using a marble slab as a gesture of connection and the pass. Seating areas divided and made distinctive by bright turquoise leather banquettes benefit from high windows, the newly discovered light well that connects all four floors, and a lighting scheme acknowledging but not too heavily dependent on bvlgari jewelry imitation industrial references. It is a look often attempted but rarely so flatteringly achieved. Baffles at ceiling height muffle sound.

Bread comes with anchovy butter served "as standard". Of course it does. The daily changing menu is short and can be made shorter by choosing one of the three main courses to share, as we do. Whole grilled Dover sole served on the bone but divested of head and tail has an extraordinarily succulent texture and bottomless flavour, somehow delivering more than is expected of bvlgari B.zero1 bracelet replica a fish. Accompaniments of cockles and translucent ribbons of fennel flamed in Pernod only help the impact and the beauty of the dish.

Red wine braised squid, dark, moody and humming under its breath the song of garlic, and raw chopped beef flavoured with anchovy and rosemary, where subtlety has not been the apparent aim, are starters that start as they mean to go on. Were we a table of three or four we might choose the kilo of 35 day aged prime rib with Pommes Anna chips in place of the sole or as well.

More foodie goodnessEat streets: how to feast your way down London's best resto roads including Goodge Street and Kingsland Road

Space left for dessert is well rewarded. A bun shaped almond sponge the evocative word frangipane is used topped with poached rhubarb is surrounded by a moat of Marsala custard and given crunch with ginger crumbs. Chocolate chip cookies warm from the oven and pliable as floating voters come with a neatly turned out wobble of panna cotta and a bitter chocolate sauce.

Terroirs and its erstwhile siblings the family has sort of broken up recently replica Bulgari snake serpenti bracelet white are known for the espousal of natural wines. Here some of the reds are listed under the heading "Peculiar". We seek advice from one of the civil, serious waiters who become acolytes of the cause when discussing what to drink. The suggestion of Aphros Loureiro Vinho Verde 2013 at 32 from Vasco Croft, who is committed to biodynamics and even sometimes to treading grapes with organic feet, is a sound one. There is a suppleness perfect with the sole and enough fruit 'n' flowers to sail happily into puddings.

Space left for dessert is well rewarded: poached rhubarb, frangipane, Marsala creme anglaise ginger crumb (Picture: Adrian Lourie)

I go back another day at lunchtime to try the bar food. It is sunny. Light is streaming in. My pal says so many places trying to distil shabby chic get it wrong and just look shabby "this is chic". We both admire wooden armchairs seemingly made bvlgari serpenti bracelet silver replica of old floorboards. I think of my eldest daughter Hannah in her accommodation in Hulme when she was at Manchester University. "Mum, the flat has texture," she would say admiringly (unspoken: unlike her dull home). The Culpeper has texture.

Sixteen options range from 1.50 for porkcorn (corn popped in pork fat and scattered with crackling, although there is scant evidence of the latter) to 14 for pork chop, celeriac and apple remoulade, and caramelised shallots. Beef and ginger puffs (three for 3) dice enticingly with sweetness as well as spiciness. They are like tidbits that might have been sold at a medieval fair. Warm potted shrimps on toast (7) have the proper, pronounced zing of mace. Salt beef and bone marrow with pickled fennel salad (6.50) are two highly satisfactory ways of approaching the business of eating a cow. Hot water crust for the pork pie (6.50) served with a nicely streamlined piccalilli is less impressive than the subtle nutty puff pastry cradling syrupy salsify, goat's curd, prunes and chopped radicchio (12).

"Has the garden salad (3.50) been picked on the roof?" we ask. The roof isn't ready yet. Come summer there will be herbs, leaves, vegetables, a greenhouse dining room and below that five bedrooms. First floor restaurant, dinner Tues Sat 6pm 10.30pm. Ground floor bar daily, noon 3pm 6pm 10.30pm. Restaurant dinner for two with wine, about 100 including 12.5 per cent service.

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Aug 30 '17 · 0 comments
Social marketing

Social marketing is marketing for social change by influencing either the bvlgari bracelet replica adopting or abandoning of ideas, practices or behaviour. It uses much the same techniques as are used in advertising products but instead of targeting the household replica bvlgari serpentine bracelet diamond budget, it targets attitudes.

Social marketing strategies are used mostly by non profit organizations, health organizations and government agencies but corporations involved in replica Bulgari snake serpenti bracelet white public relations may also use the techniques.

In 1971, the book "Social Marketing" was published and so began the use of approach as a bvlgari jewelry imitation formal discipline. Beginning with a list of sad statistics about teenage smoking, cancer, infants born with fetal alcohol syndrome and so on, the book goes on to advocate social marketing strategies to initiate social change.

It is in achieving such goals that the difficulty lies. An advertiser selling a product can exploit the fact that the reward is immediate and obvious whereas in changing behaviour the rewards are in the future and perhaps not evident until after our death, as in the case of environmental protection. Many targets of social marketing indulge in addictive behaviour such as smoking, drinking alcohol and taking drugs and trying to get them to stop would not be as easy as selling a chocolate bar.
Aug 30 '17 · 0 comments
Flashy fashion grows as India's rich flaunt wealth

In booming India, being rich is not enough. For the moneyed classes, it's increasingly about flaunting their wealth in ways typical of the nouveaux riches in Russia, China or the Middle East.

India's well heeled used to be more shy about displaying their wealth in the decades after independence from Britain when a tightly controlled economy and dominant socialist thinking limited the opportunities for showing off.

But many prosperous Indians are embracing conspicuous consumption, turning their backs on the mantra of frugality espoused by independence hero Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation who eschewed possessions.

The biggest sign of changing attitudes to wealth and shopping can be seen in the stampede to India of flashy Western designer brands from Louis Vuitton, Prada, Chanel and Bulgari as well replica bvlgari necklace white gold as sports car makers Ferrari and Maserati.

Attend any society event in Mumbai or the capital New Delhi and "it's a brave fake bvlgari men necklace woman who arrives without a designer handbag", says Chadha, who is also a brand consultant.

In the past, dazzling extravagance was the exclusive domain of India's former feudal leaders who splashed out on bespoke Rolls Royce cars, diamonds the size of duck eggs, palaces and armies of servants during British rule.

Later, luxury seeking consumers had to go mostly to boutiques in five star hotels. But a shopping mall building boom is bringing to India the sort of air conditioned high end retail found commonly elsewhere in Asia.

"People are less inhibited in their spending," said New Delhi furniture designer Raseel Gujral Ansal at an opening show of her creations last month as the city's elite oohed over sofas, chairs, beds and tables.

Even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called for the rich to tone down their excesses and to "eschew conspicuous consumption".

But Indian billionaire Azim Premji says the phenomenon is common in nations like China, Indonesia and Thailand where people are enjoying new wealth. "The first few years, people want to show visibly they are very rich," he said.

He heads one bvlgari ring necklace replica of India's largest outsourcing companies, Wipro, and is renowned for his frugal lifestyle and philanthropy in a field of domestic billionaires whose extravagance frequently makes headlines.

The country's richest man, Mukesh Ambani, moved last year into a billion dollar, 27 storey skyscraper home in Mumbai with three helipads in a development that towers over nearby slums.

He once gave a $60 million Airbus jet to his wife as a birthday present.

"People always had money but bvlgari bzero necklace replica now they are no longer afraid to reward themselves," said Shreyans Group chief executive Ashish Chordia, an importer for Porsche and other sports cars in India.

Sales of prestige cars such as Mercedes and Ferraris accelerated 80 percent last year, despite punishing 100 percent duties and potholed roads.

"Last year was phenomenal," says BMW India president Andreas Schaaf, referring to sales.

Aston Martin last month joined the list of luxury marques driving into India with plans to sell three models the V8 Vantage, priced at $348,341, the Rapide at $483,146 and the One 77 at a whopping $4.5 million.

The Indian luxury market as a whole is forecast to triple to $15 billion by 2015 from $4.76 billion at present, according to global consultancy AT Kearney, though it still lags China's which stands at $9.6 billion.

The number of Indians who have financial assets of over $1 million, excluding main residences, now stands at 127,000, the 2010 World Wealth Report by Merrill Lynch Capgemini says.

According to a new survey of 160 financial advisors by a private banking arm of Citibank, Indians are the most likely members of the global super rich to spend more on private jets and yachts over the next few years.

At the same time, observers say the new ostentation underscores how the divide between India's wealthy and its poor is widening.

"It makes me uncomfortable how much people spend on weddings," concedes one New Delhi society wedding organiser, who says families will regularly spend 10 million rupees ($225,000) on just one event in India's multi day weddings.

India is home to the world's biggest number of poor people. Some 42 percent of Indians, or 455 million people, live on less than $1.25 a day, according to the World Bank.

India's statistics on health, infant mortality and malnutrition are worse than those for some countries in sub Saharan Africa.

Shekhar Gupta, editor of The Indian Express, describes the well off as "divorced and insulated" from poverty.

"We send our children to private schools, get treatment only in private hospitals, have our own security in gated communities, never need to use public transport," he noted in a column.

At the glitzy Emporio mall in New Delhi, chauffeur driven Mercedes, BMWs and the occasional Rolls Royce or Bentley regularly pull up to disgorge wealthy occupants to shop at boutiques where handbags retail for $2,000 and more.

"I don't take my mother in law here she's shocked at the prices," said Shaila, a businessman's wife, as she fingered a woven soft leather Bottega Veneta bag priced at 136,899 rupees ($3,080) in one of the mall's boutiques.
Aug 30 '17 · 0 comments
Natural wonders of the watch world

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Aug 30 '17 · 0 comments
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