Yang Solar Hee
The writer is a columnist for JoongAng Ilbo.
Within the 18th century, the French thinker Denis Diderot wrote an essay, “I remorse parting with my previous gown.” After receiving a brand new pink gown as a present and discarding her ex’s, she complains in regards to the issues in her workplace that do not match the magnificence of the brand new gown. He started to interchange every thing piece by piece and utterly furnished his workplace. The compulsion to modernize materials items started to be referred to as the “Diderot impact”.
Shopping for a brand new dwelling comes with the urge to fill it with new furnishings. An expensive bag will increase the need to match it with costly garments and possibly a watch.
The “snob impact” describes a scenario the place an individual tends to own unique gadgets to reveal their superiority in wealth and style. In an analogous time period, there may be the “Veblen impact”, named after the American economist Thorstein Veblen, who coined the phrase “conspicuous consumption”. All these phenomena clarify why international luxurious manufacturers promote properly in Korea, regardless of their ever-increasing costs.
Final 12 months, South Koreans spent probably the most on luxurious items primarily based on per capita spending. Complete spending by South Koreans on private luxurious items rose 24 p.c year-on-year to $16.8 billion, or $325 per particular person, final 12 months, in response to a Morgan Stanley report. That is way over the $280 and $50 spent by their American and Chinese language counterparts, respectively. Morgan Stanley attributes the demand for high-end merchandise in Korea to rising buying energy and a need to outwardly show social standing. “Look and monetary success might resonate extra with customers in South Korea than in different nations,” the report mentioned.
Displaying wealth is extra socially acceptable in Korea than in different nations. A McKinsey survey discovered that solely 22 p.c of Koreans disapproved of displaying wealth, in comparison with 45 p.c of Japanese and 38 p.c of Chinese language.
A good friend who has lived overseas for a very long time mentioned she was shocked to see so many younger ladies carrying fancy luggage on the subway. The craze for luxurious items among the many youthful technology displays their need to be pleased now and to ‘flex’ or flaunt their possessions. As shopping for a house has turn into much less possible for a lot of, they spend on luxurious gadgets or automobiles. All over the world, Technology MZ dedicate themselves to the right here and now as an alternative of planning for the longer term like their dad and mom’ technology. The pent-up demand as a result of pandemic spurred them to make luxurious purchases. Some go so far as shopping for a second-hand luxurious bag simply to publish an image on social media.
The will to look younger and wealthy makes them work part-time and make investments cash in financing with companions to purchase a luxurious bag. They line up at trend homes from daybreak and spend money on luxurious items for resale. Luxurious properties are elevating the bar to faucet into an expanded client base. They increase costs many instances all year long and restrict purchases to those that are loyal clients. The dearer and unique luxurious items are, the larger their need shall be.
The Pew Analysis Middle requested 19,000 random adults in 17 nations what they worth most in life. Materials well-being was primary amongst South Koreans, whereas household and kids got here first in 14 nations. Total within the survey, household comes first at 38 p.c, adopted by profession at 25 p.c and materials well-being at 19 p.c.
The intense materialism and ostentatious bias in the direction of luxurious items might transcend the same old cult of wealth, because it displays the shadow facet of Korean society to guage others primarily based on standing symbols. Unusual residents of their 20s and 30s searching for high-end merchandise might signify their private insecurities by wanting a flowery bag to look higher than the remainder of society. The growth of client items should be finished earlier than the expansion of their client items.