Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Experience The High Life With Luxury Yacht Charters

A vacation is something that we all look forward to in order to enjoy some rest and relaxation, and some serious time out from the hustle and bustle of every day life. However, all too often we find the destination to which we travel overcrowded with other tourists, which means that we often end up taking the hustle and bustle of normal life with us on vacation.

When you opt for luxury yacht charters you can rest assured that you will have the ideal vacation, combining the rest and relaxation that you crave with the opportunity to see some spectacular sights and enjoy a wide range of excitement. With luxury yacht charters you can cruise the seas and soak up the sunshine, and you can still dock and visit the places you wish safe in the knowledge that you can return to the peace and tranquillity of your own yacht when you are ready to do so.

This is fast becoming a popular way to enjoy the ultimate vacation, and whether you are planning to take a loved one on a romantic trip or whether you are planning a family vacation, this is the ideal solution to a once in a lifetime holiday to remember.

Click Here For More Information

Amazon buys company dedicated to luxury brands

It seemed as though Amazon.com had given up on the strategy of buying its way into merchandise categories.

But with Monday's announcement of its purchase of Shopbop.com, a Madison, Wis. based Web site dedicated to luxury brands such as Marc by Marc Jacobs and True Religion -- Amazon is again dabbling in the game plan that made the company get big fast at the turn of the century.

"As a category, shopping experiences in apparel are much more fragmented and diverse than many others that we are in," said Russ Grandinetti, vice president of Amazon's Apparel and Accessories store.

Click Here for the Full Article

Monday, February 27, 2006

Lust for Luxury Drives Paris Fashion Shows

Global hunger for luxury goods means big bucks for the Paris fashion industry even though high unemployment and weak growth are making European consumers more thrifty.

Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto kicked off a week of glitzy displays in the first major show of the Paris autumn-winter collection late on Sunday, parading models in oversize men's suits with coats draped like blankets over their shoulders.

"Hiding the body is always mysterious and sexy," the soft-spoken Yamamoto told Reuters after the show. "It's not like those tiny little cheap things."

Catwalk shows are a costly affairs for fashion houses but they are an important publicity event. Companies hope to lure the attention of consumers not only to the clothes but also to a brand's accessories such as hand bags or perfumes.

Click Here for the Full Article

The Flying Luxury Hotel of Tomorrow

Cruise ship will sail through the air, not the water. This is not a Blimp. It's a sort of flying Queen Mary 2 that could change the way you think about air travel. It's the Aeroscraft, and when it's completed, it will ferry pampered passengers across continents and oceans as they stroll leisurely about the one-acre cabin or relax in their well-appointed staterooms.

Unlike its dirigible ancestors, the Aeroscraft is not lighter than air. Its 14 million cubic feet of helium hoist only two thirds of the craft's weight. The rigid and surprisingly aerodynamic body driven by huge rearward propeller generates enough additional lift to keep the behemoth and its 400-ton payload aloft while cruising.

During takeoff and landing, six turbofan jet engines push the ship up or ease its descent.

This two-football-fields-long concept airship is the brainchild of Igor Pasternak, whose privately-funded California firm, Worldwide Aeros Corporation, is in the early stages of developing a prototype and expects to have one completed by 2010.

Luxury Institute Ultra-Luxury Watches Survey: Ultra-Wealthy Consumers Select the Best Watches

-In the new world of transparency, the consumer has the final say and in the latest Ultra-Luxury Watches Brand Status Index survey, conducted by the New York City-based Luxury Institute, Franck Muller earned top honors as the most prestigious purveyor in the Ultra-Luxury Watches segment (score of 80), as rated and ranked by America's penta-millionaires. Patek Phillipe placed second with 79; Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, and Breguet tied for third place in a field of superstar brands.

"The results indicate that the top brands differ in perception along different dimensions of the pillars of a luxury brand, said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. "It was a close ratings process overall, but with different winners in the individual pillars of luxury. Patek was rated best in consistently superior quality, and as the brand that delivers the most social status. Franck Muller distinguished itself as the truly unique and exclusive brand and the brand that can make the acquirer feel special across the entire customer experience. It was also rated most worthy of a significant price premium."

Click Here for the Full Article

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Dior joins the luxury goods rush in India

CHRISTIAN Dior has opened its first retail outlet in India, featuring $US1000 ($1354) handbags and $US400 sunglasses, as the country emerges as one of the fastest-growing markets for luxury goods.

Pierre Denis, managing director for the French luxury goods maker's Asia operations, said the company had followed the rise in demand for its haute couture from the increasingly frequent visits by Indian customers to its stores in the Middle East, London, and Paris.

"We thought perhaps it was time to establish ourselves in India," he said. "Luxury is part of the worldwide opening of India."

In India, Christian Dior joins an existing group of luxury retailers including Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Cartier, Fendi, Bulgari, and Dolce & Gabbana. Others such as Gucci, Valentino, and Versace are on their way. "More and more people are becoming aware of global trends, and this is being reflected in their tastes and fashions," said Deepankar Sanwalka, head of consumer markets for KPMG.

Click Here for the Full Article

Luxury home sales jump 33% in area

Luxury-priced homes sold at a 33 percent greater clip in seven Northern California counties in 2005 than in 2004, according to a new study by Alain Pinel Realtors, one of the largest privately-owned residential real estate companies in the country.

Alain Pinel Realtors, based in Saratoga, measured previously occupied home sales priced at $2.5 million or greater in comparing last year with 2004.

During 2005, 733 homes sold at $2.5 million or more in the seven counties of Santa Clara, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa, compared with the 552 that sold in 2004 at that price or greater.

Three counties -- Monterey, San Mateo and Alameda -- showed gains in the median price of homes sold above $2.5 million while three counties, Santa Cruz, Contra Costa and San Francisco, experienced declines in the median price of homes sold at this level. Santa Clara County was even on a year-to-year basis, with the median sale price for both 2004 and 2005 at $3 million, according to the study.

Click Here for the Full Article

Former Luxury Motor Yacht of Monaco Royalty Offered for Sale by Baja Yachts

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, February 21, 2006 Baja Yachts, a worldwide Internet-based yacht brokerage, has been chosen to assist in the sale of the 147-foot former royal yacht for the late Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco.

"We're thrilled to be a part of promoting this beautiful yacht," says James Truett, whose company, TrueStar Marketing, owns Baja Yachts. "Imagine what it's like to be aboard a boat with such a rich history."

The luxurious Camper & Nicholsons steel yacht is being offered for sale by her current owner for $535,000 Euros.

Built in 1928, the vessel was a wedding present from Aristotle Onassis to the Prince when he married former actress Grace Kelley. The couple spent their honeymoon aboard the yacht, known then as "Deo Juvante II".

Click Here for the Full Article

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Developer Zaps $150M Luxury Condominium Project in Miami

The 1390 Brickell Bay condominium tower, which was planned for a one-acre site near Miami's posh Brickell Avenue, has joined a growing list of doomed luxury projects. The 49-story, 364-unit development has become a casualty of a faltering market, characterized by stiff competition, ever higher construction costs, a shortage of labor and materials and the new-found thriftiness of lenders. In addition, the developer succumbed to the wrath of mother nature, which inflicted several hurricanes on South Florida last summer and fall.

Kenneth Baboun, president of the BBB Group, originally estimated the project, which was 90 percent sold out, to cost $150 million. He has notified buyers that he was returning their deposits plus interest.

Inexperience of the developer is another contributing factor to the failure of some condominium projects today, Michael Cannon, managing director of the South Florida office of Integra Realty Resources, told CPN this afternoon. Baboun is the 25-year son of Jose Baboun, who is a member of a family-run, residential and commercial development firm in Mexico.

Click Here for the Full Article

Friday, February 17, 2006

Luxury car sales now on rise

"Think big" seems to be the order of the day. The splurge in the car sale fashion backs this notion. The increased sales of luxury cars like Mercedes-Benz and other high profile vehicles are the sure result of popular trend.

Annual sales of luxury cars have risen constantly and it’s still on rise. Gone are the days when people thought that purchasing a car was a difficult job. Now with the outcome of cheap car loans the indulgence in cars has increased.
A luxury car unit has made an operating profit of 1m euros in the last three months of 2005.

Industry insiders say that this increase in profits has been due to the job cut that this sector has undertaken. But whatever the speculations say Car loans definitely have a major role to play.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Luxury Travel Search Offers Free Property Advertising

Drake and Cavendish, a new online travel site which features a luxury travel search engine, has announced that it will offer luxury hotel and villa owners a free targeted advertising opportunity on its site. Their property’s suitability for the site permitting, owners will receive a standard advert listing which will include descriptions, images and contact details within a user-friendly, searchable database. Property owners will have the ability to regularly update the pitch presented on Drake and Cavendish’s site, check statistics on the number of click-throughs for their property, and provide links to their own websites where customers may book reservations directly.

Click Here for the Full Article

Oakley Buys Luxury Eyewear Maker

Oakley Inc., whose high-tech sunglasses are worn by world-class athletes in several sports, said Wednesday that it bought privately held Oliver Peoples Inc., whose classic spectacles have been seen on celebrities such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

The acquisition — valued at $46.7 million, excluding the assumption of debt and incentives — is the first in the 35-year history of Foothill Ranch-based Oakley. Company executives said the deal with Oliver Peoples would enable Oakley to extend its reach while remaining true to its own branding.

"We are partnering with someone whose products are a little more premium, a little more fashionable and in a zone of the market that would not be appropriate for us to do with the Oakley brand," Chief Executive Scott Olivet said. "So we looked at who would be a great partner in that and we found them."

Click Here for the Full Article

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Creating the Luxury Store Experience

A great selling staff and a strong brand identity are, of course, essential tools to clinch a sale, but they need to be utilized to full advantage in a venue that will attract customers. And that, say the experts, is a matter of offering comfort and convenience, atmosphere and ambience...and more.

"Number one is you have to have aesthetics," explains Milton Pedraza, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Luxury Institute, an independent research institution that focuses on the top 10 percent of America’s wealthy. "It's the backdrop, the background for everything. Number two is it needs to be a friendly, inviting, convenient, comfortable environment."

And everything in that environment is important, explains Jean Gipe, professor in apparel merchandising and management, California State Polytechnic University Pomona. "Basically, you're talking about every aspect of the interior of the store. But there's more than that. There are all the additionals: the music that's playing or any scent or sound. It's really how being in that environment affects the five senses and whether the shopper is unconsciously saying, 'I like being here.'

Click here for the Full Article

Monday, February 06, 2006

Royal Caribbean Shoots for Ultra-Luxury

Raising the stakes in the effort to claim bragging rights to be No. 1, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines announced today that it has ordered what will be the world's largest and most expensive cruise ship ever, under the project name "Genesis."

Set for a Fall 2009 delivery, the ship will house 5,400 guests and will cost an estimated $1 billion to build by Finnish shipbuilder Aker Yards.

"It is exhilarating to take such a giant step into the future," said Royal Caribbean chairman and CEO Richard Fain, in a statement. "We are fortunate to have such gifted collaborators as Aker Yards, and such valued supporters and advisors as our guests and trade partners. Project Genesis truly is a remarkable ship.”

Yrjo Julin, president of Aker Yards Cruise and Ferries, estimates Project Genesis will take 5,800 man-years to complete. Aker Yards has delivered 11 ships to Royal Caribbean over the last four decades.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Luxury watches lift Swatch sales, bullish for 2006

Strong demand for Swatch Group's luxury watch brands helped boost gross sales by 8.3 percent to record levels in 2005, in line with expectations, and the company said it expected "very solid" growth in 2006.

The world's biggest watch maker also said it would launch a new 300 million-franc share buyback programme on Thursday as it reported gross sales rose to 4.497 billion Swiss francs ($3.5 billion) for 2005.

The figure compares with analysts' expectations of 4.478 billion francs. Swatch Group bearer shares, which have risen 7 percent so far this year, were up 1.9 percent at 212.60 francs by 1005 GMT. "I'm pleased. It is a record result, and also the mix has improved because of the strong increase in luxury watches," said Urs Diethelm, an analyst at Sal. Oppenheim.

Click Here for the Full Article