- POSTED: 24 Dec 2013 21:36
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The festive season brings with it all sorts of luxuries: a break from work, precious moments with family members, and time to reflect on the year that was. But for some, it is also about other luxuries -- those that come with a multiple-figure price tag.
SINGAPORE: The festive season brings with it all sorts of luxuries: a break from work, precious moments with family members, and time to reflect on the year that was.
But for some, it is also about other luxuries -- those that come with a multiple-figure price tag.
When it comes to gift-giving this Christmas for some shoppers, 'tis the season to be parting with their hard-earned cash, and pulling out all stops when it comes to the perfect present.
At Singapore's Bulgari flagship store, the tree is up and the gems are out; rubies, emeralds, sapphires and, of course, diamonds that glitter even brighter than the Christmas lights along nearby Orchard Road.
For some, Christmas 2013 is all about making a fashion statement.
Wong Weiling, managing director of Bulgari Asia, said: "(Bulgari’s) Diva handbag is a gorgeous emerald green...with (a) serpent motif. And of course, exotic skins are extremely sought after, especially over the festive season."
A stone's throw away from the bags and the bling lie gift choices for a dapper dad, or the style-conscious gentlemen.
Industry insiders said this season is all about discreet luxury, rather than monograms.
Parisian shoes and leather goods maker Berluti is offering personalisation as the ultimate luxury.
Andrew Bayley, retail manager for Singapore at Berluti, said: "We start with a black base, or a brown base, and with the colour mechanics, we can achieve different variations. And that's done by our in-house colourist here in Singapore."
Recipients can count themselves in good company. The brand's clientele include the likes of Frank Sinatra and Andy Warhol.
Christmas is a time for giving. For those upwardly-mobile Christmas shoppers and those wanting to make a real impression, there is no shortage of beautiful baubles, classic timepieces and Italian silk ties to lend some cheer.
But Christmas 2013 could be a fairly quiet one for many luxury retailers.
With the decline of the Mainland Chinese shopper, many of them are firmly focused on a new market in Southeast Asia, which is expected to grow by 11 per cent in 2014.
Mr Bayley said: "Within the region for Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam -- all key markets for us."
Consultancy Bain and Company is calling Southeast Asia the new rising star of the luxury market, with economic development creating middle-class consumers with increasingly deep pockets.
Still, Singapore shoppers are holding their own.
United Overseas Bank said consumers in the city-state will spend an average of almost S$900 this year on gifts – that is 50 per cent more than 2012, and a sign of growing confidence in light of improving economic data.