As the number of billionaires grows and covid-19 added to incentives for avoiding crowds, the ultra-rich are taking to the high seas. Boatmakers are rushing to meet demand from new and repeat customers, having sold over 550 new and used yachts this year.
According to a report by Bloomberg, boatmakers have taken orders for about 330 new superyachts—luxury boats longer than 30—to be ready before 2023. Customers include Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, who is waiting for delivery of a 127m superyacht, estimated to cost over $500 million. Just last week, Hollywood director Steven Spielberg sold his 86m superyacht, Seven Seas, for $158 million to an entity linked to Canadian steel billionaire Barry Zekelman—to make room for his new yacht, a 109m boat that’s under construction.
Also read: Why Louis Vuitton is considering a duty-free store on an island
“2021 is significantly outperforming any of the last 12 years,” brokers Fraser Yachts told Reuters. The cost of a superyacht can range from $10 million second-hand to $600 million new. “Some have seen that their ultra-rich friends who own yachts had a nice time during the pandemic, while they had to lock themselves at home,” Pepe Garcia, chair of Spanish shipyards MB92, the world’s leading superyacht refit firm, told Reuters.
Benedict Cumberbatch fuels Singles’ Day sales
A virtual appearance by British actor Benedict Cumberbatch and flashy deals kicked off Alibaba’s final 24 hours of its Singles’ Day shopping sale on Thursday. Like last year, Singles’ Day has stretched from being a day-long event to two sale periods—the first from 1-3 November and a full day of discounted shopping on 11 November. It’s one of the biggest shopping events in China. Last year, it racked up $74 billion in orders, or gross merchandise value (GMV), reports Reuters. Cumberbatch was the highest-profile overseas celebrity to appear at the event, albeit virtually.
In previous years, before the pandemic, stars such as Taylor Swift and Pharrell Williams performed for it. More than 200 luxury brands are participating in this year’s event to offer more than 100,000 new products. The number of buyers who placed orders during the first sales window for luxury goods jumped 40% over the previous year, the company said.
Tiffany goes the Supreme way
Legendary luxury jeweller Tiffany & Co. has teamed up with streetwear brand Supreme to launch a seven-piece collection to refresh its image and appeal to younger customers. The collection, which features a white T-shirt with the Supreme logo in Tiffany’s iconic robin egg blue colour released on Thursday. Supreme is owned by apparel producer VF Corp.
The collaboration marks another step in Tiffany’s efforts to broaden its appeal since it was acquired by luxury conglomerate LVMH and expand beyond the old-fashioned image long associated with the jeweller, reports Bloomberg. It has also been selling more pieces that break with the traditional divide of what women and men wear, including a line of male engagement rings launched earlier this year.
Also read: Who will be India’s first global brand?