The wife of Hong Kong financier and dynastic
rich, V-nee Yeh (Value
Partners founder) is a
fashionista and A-list socialite in the city.
lover Mira Yeh explained, "I wanted to match all my Chanel
accessories," so she
chose an Adam Jones top, Libertine skirt,
Martin Margiela shoes, and a Fendi wrap.
STREET STYLE HONG KONG
lover Mira Yeh explained, "All my life I wanted to own a deranged
poodle but the ones in Hong Kong are creepily sane"
Some of Hong Kong's ladies who lunch -
better known as tai-tais - are facing a minor dilemma. Spending big-time is
currently viewed as more crass than chichi.
"It's now a crime to spend a lot in today's market," says socialite
Mira Yeh. "The buying mood is just not there since Sept. 11." The
global recession has seen some tai-tais cut their luxury goods spending sprees
by 30%-50%. That's a fair chunk out of a habit that, according to socialite
Lelia Chow, can run over $100,000 a year. Yeh says tai-tais are more
price-conscious than ever before: "All the stores were empty until the
early private sales started."
The self-confessed "professional shopper," who prides herself on
"never being photographed twice in the same outfit," recently opened
her own boutique. Despite having a fineexcuse to shop overseas, Yeh decided to
curb her spending: "I was in New York last week, and I felt really guilty
walking into Bergdorf Goodman when everyone was so down."
Her pain is shared. "I still go shopping, but I just try to stay
low-profile and not flaunt all my bags of goodies around," one anonymous
socialite says. "I wouldn't say I feel guilty; I'm just morally
aware." To deal with her internal angst, this tai-tai has cut her shopping
trips to Paris, Milan and New York. Instead, she is ordering from shops over
there by telephone: "They ship the pieces to my door. It saves me a
Not every member of Hong Kong's rich set is sympathetic to the current depressed
spending mood. "Economics is simple," says socialite and avid jewelry
collector Wendy Wan. "If you are strong, you will survive. If you are weak,
you're out." Another tai-tai quips: "It's not embarrassing to be
indulgent if you can afford it. If you've been shopping all your life, how can
you be expected to stop?"
Combine that excuse with a 30% discount tag, and kerrching!, a brand-new handbag
for the holiday season. The guilt among this set won't last long, surely.
- 2001 November 30 ASIA
Socialite, fashion diva and devoted mother to
seven-year-old daughter Nadya. A patron of the Hong Kong Ballet, she is also on
the Hong Kong International School Committee and writes for society magazine
"The best present I've ever received was the
first picture my daughter ever drew for me, when she was three. It's kept locked
away in a safe place.
"My other best present was given to me by my very
good friend in New York - a paperweight in the shape of a diamond ring. It's a
replica of a Tiffany ring with a 120-carat rock, made of crystal - Swarowski, I
"It's really pretty as a paperweight, but the
beauty of it is that you can also wear it as a bracelet. On the card, my friend
wrote that diamonds are a girl's best friend.
"She knows I don't wear diamonds - I may lose
them. I won't ever lose this one. Christmas is a time to get in touch with
friends far away, and this funny paperweight always reminds me of her. It also
makes me laugh. It is a gift I treasure." - 2003