Monday, 3 March 2008
Three weeks ago I did the typical tourist-window-shopping at Harrods and was mainly exploring the ground floor where are the formal wear is sold. While walking past Paul Smith and Tom Ford suits I saw an unknown brand in the located in the north-west corner. My curiosity drew me to the big and bold sign which spelled “Billionaire”, the name didn’t ring any bells so I had to check out what it was all about.
Looking left and right after having taken my first step inside the booth like store I my first encounter was leather and fur. The store assistants were incredibly cold and didn’t even say hello or look into my eyes, but that didn’t matter because after flipping over the £400 price tag for a belt I had no interest in handing over my precious money to the store. Not only am I a broke university student but the clothes and accessories sold in the store is now on at the top of my Hall of Fame list.
Calf skin, fur, alligator skin and cashmere were the dominate materials as well as skinny shades or yellow, black, purple, light blue, red and pink. This was vulgarness in excess and having read more about the brand I have found out that they sell jackets and suits for as much as 350 000 euro. Everything sold in the store is pompous, crass and seem to be intentionally expensive.
Today when I was in Knightsbridge I finally got to know who’s behind the mystery brand. Changing track on my Zune while walking I took quick peek to the left, stopped, placed my right palm on my head and shook my head. The horrifying sight was a display covering a construction work of a Billionaire store, and on it was a face of Flavio Briatore. I was actually disappointed and never believed that he would sink that low. I know that he’s worth 8 figures but still has quite a long way to go before he’s a billionaire. The fact that he’s not a billionaire makes his brand faux luxury…………at exaggerated prices. Not only that but I picture heavy hitters like Rupert Murdoch, Lakshmi Mittal or Michael Dell wearing any of that stuff, but Puerto Rican cocaine lords residing in Miami probably wouldn’t mind some of that expensive garbage.
In the end I forgive Briatore, he’s just a playboy after all, a very lucky one. He’s one of those guys who have become incredibly wealthy by being at the right place at the right time meeting the right people, and he has hit it right every single time by seizing the moment. Despite no history in motor sport, engineering or mechanics he has managed to make climb up the ranks in life and made it Team principle of Renault’s Formula 1 team, he still doesn’t know squat about high end mechanics. In the end I feel no hate for him, he has done well for himself in life.