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Luxury gifts billionaires are giving this Christmas

This is starting to look a lot like Hermes…and other luxury holiday gifts.
Courtesy of Nicole Pollard Bayme

  • For the world’s richest people, Christmas can be a little different.
  • The most sought-after gifts for the billionaire set can cost five figures or more.
  • Here’s what the ultrarich have on their wish lists this year.

Money, a sweater, perfume and a smartphone are among the most sought-after gifts in the United States at Christmas, according to a recent Statista survey. But unless the check under the tree is for $10,000, the amount Warren Buffett used to gift every member of his family – most of them won’t cut it when it comes to gifts for the ultra-rich.

“The most amazing thing about billionaires is that they usually don’t have a budget,” said Nicole Pollard Bayme, founder of luxury styling company Lalaluxe, which offers clients bespoke gifts. . This “allows us to have unlimited imagination,” she added. For these shopping services, she charges a starting price of $600 per hour, plus a percentage of the cost of the items purchased.

Along with Pollard Bayme, Business Insider also spoke with Winston Chesterfield, founder of Barton, a consultancy focused on luxury and the wealthy, and Elisabeth Brown, chief customer officer at Knightsbridge Circle, a travel and concierge concierge company. lifestyle.

They gave us their take on what the richest people give and receive for the holidays. The answers ranged from the mind-blowing – a $5 million villa – to the delightful – a Steinway downstairs (well, not literally).

Here’s a look at the gifts the 0.001% are giving and receiving this year — and remember, it’s probably best not to compare the socks you got from your mother-in-law. with one of the items on this list.

Pianos: Several heritage experts said there is new interest in gifting pianos, not just your average upright or electric keyboard.

Grand pianos — which can cost tens of thousands of dollars or more, Brown said — are a great gift for someone who actually plays, of course, but are also appreciated as part of their decor.

“Our members appreciate the finer things in life, including good craftsmanship,” Brown said, “and a piano can often be the focal point of a room.”

Chesterfield added that a piano also serves as a party trick, with the rich hiring professionals to tickle the ivories. while organizing events.

Birkin: The Hermès Birkin is perhaps the most exclusive and expensive type of handbag in the world. With a starting price of $9,000, it’s no surprise that this is a popular gift for those who also have exclusive and expensive tastes.

One of Chesterfield’s contacts gives his wife a new Hermès bag every year, and the color of the bag sets the tone for the rest of his gifts. A red bag, for example, will be surrounded by red items from other luxury retailers.

One of Pollard Bayme’s clients requested a rare Himalayan Birkin with diamond detailing for a particularly special gift. Made from dyed crocodile skin, the bag cost $750,000 and required security to deliver it to the customer.

“For the person who has everything, why not also have diamonds on their purse?” » said Pollard Bayme. Why not, indeed.

A journey into space: “The ultimate solution for the billionaire class” is two tickets to space, said Pollard Bayme.

Following in the footsteps of billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson, two of his clients are going into orbit for the holidays. The gift also includes training with NASA astronauts.

Although Pollard Bayme wouldn’t reveal how much his customers were paying for the unusual vacation, a seat on Branson’s Virgin Galactic Flight can cost $450,000 each, while one in Bezos’ Blue Origin rockets can cost millions. At this price, BI hopes that the champagne up there will be very cold.

A wellness retreat — and the best equipment to go with it: Although the other gifts on this list prove that excessive opulence is not dead, Chesterfield said many of his contacts are choosing to give experiences and forgoing gifts like jewelry and cars.

“People seem a little exhausted by so-called hard luxury,” he said. Instead, they offer travel experiences, particularly wellness retreats like a cycling trip through Mallorca or a week at the Vivamayr spa in Austria.

Granted, even though these gifts aren’t adorned with designer names or encrusted with gemstones, they don’t come cheap. The bike tour, for example, starts at $5,999, while a stay at Vivamayr costs a minimum of $2,500.

And to top off the gift, a Christmas gift of the best of the best gear couldn’t hurt, like a $3,450 Loro Piana windbreaker or a $2,000 Moncler ski jacket.

A Tuscan vineyard could be yours – or that of your loved ones – for $5 million.
Courtesy of Knightsbridge Circle

Eat, drink – and more: “People are becoming so passionate about food,” Chesterfield said. “You end up having enough bags, enough jewelry, enough of all that, and it doesn’t go away. But you always need food.”

And while aged balsamic vinegar from Italy — a bottle can cost hundreds of dollars — can be a nice Christmas gift, those who want to go a step further can add an experience: a cooking class and dinner at home with a Michelin star chef. , for example, or a ten-course meal in an inaccessible restaurant.

Brown also suggested that food or wine events can be the focal point of an entire trip. Tickets to the Golden Vines, the Oscars of Wine (the highest tier costs about $13,000 per person this year) as well as a week in the host country are popular gifts for oenophiles, she said .

A vineyard in Tuscany: And for those with a larger budget to spend on the wine lover in your life, a vineyard in Tuscany can be the ultimate gift.

Knightsbridge recently helped secure one for a client as a gift for their partner. Complete with a villa in which Napoleon slept and facilities for producing honey and olive oil, it cost around $5 million. And on Christmas Day, they can accompany their meal with their own wine. Health.

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