There are several countries we look to when deciphering trends for the upcoming year: the U.K. leads the way in music; we look to Paris and Italy for fashion; New York City whets our palette with food/cocktail tips. And, based on the results of a new survey, the Chinese know a thing or two about luxury goods.
According to the Ruder Finn/Ipsos China Luxury Forecast 2012, China's richest citizens are not only on the hunt for haute luxury items, they're purchasing more of them.
"Chinese consumers buy luxury products mainly to reward themselves or build confidence, as well as to reflect their taste and personality and will continue to do so this year," says Elan Shou, managing director China and vice-president of Ruder Finn Asia.
So what's in and what's out according to these Chinese shoppers? For starters, luxury watches, handbags and jewellery are "out" -- the majority of respondents plan to spend less on all of these products over the next few months. What's "in" are cosmetics, high-end shoes and brand-name wines, spirits and cigars.
The survey also showcased some interesting trends around top luxury brands: European fashion products -- produced by some of the world's biggest retailers -- are still coveted by brand-name loving shoppers. Perhaps this means a certain company's overdone Speedy Bandouliere is about to make a comeback. Consider your wallet warned.
The top luxury brands in China are...
6. Giorgio Armani
5. Christian Dior
1. Louis Vuitton