Friday, May 25, 2007

Diana Carmichael – Contemporary luxury tableware at it’s most creative

Two weeks ago I got an invitation to dine with one of the most influential men in the Internet world. He invited me and my girlfriend to dine in his lush penthouse apartment in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. His wife is a former model who also happens to be one of the most gracious hosts I’ve ever met. The night was definitely going to be memorable.

I was dressed in my usual Dunhill suit and Hugo Boss tie and dished a small fortune to buy my girlfriend a new dress for the occasion. I needed this night to be perfect: A lot of money was riding on this deal.

John and Cathy (not their real names) greeted us at the door and invited us into their beautifully furnished house. The penthouse is decorated in a wave of earthy tones with a dash of dark red ever so often. The dining room is spectacular: A dark mahogany table with the most interesting contemporary chairs. You could see they entertain quite regularly. We sat down for dinner at the table and I saw the one thing that was by far the most thought provoking…

The cutlery: With all the research that I do for this blog, I thought I’ve seen it all, but I was wrong. The cutlery was quite unique. My girlfriend then asked the question I was dying to ask: “What beautiful cutlery, where did you get it?” You could see Cathy beaming at the question, she was definitely proud of it. “Oh, it’s Diana Carmichael. I got the set as a gift from my sister-in-law as a birthday gift.” she said.

Now, I must admit, I’ve never heard of Diana Carmichael before, but it was such exquisite pieces, that I thought I had to do a posting on it for the blog.

I visited their website and actually saw the set Cathy had on the table (pictured below).

Diana Carmichael has some of the most creative contemporary tableware accessory designs I’ve ever seen. It definitely compliments any modern living environment. See the sets below.

Guess what happened… Apart from the contract I got, my girlfriend now wants a set of Diana Carmichael tableware as reward for being on her best behaviour when I scored the contract!

On a personal note

Life is great!

I would like to thank the fans of LOTR (Lifestyles of the Rich). The blog has reached a top ten ranking (9th) on Blog Toplist. Thank you.

My new business venture is booming. It is exceding my wildest expectations. I had no idea that their was such a demand.

I would like to apologize for the lack of postings though. The new venture is taking up most of my day. I'll rectify that today. I was suppose to play golf with a client today, but the weather put a stop to that. So today I have enough time.

I would like to thank my friend G-Wee for the beautiful posting / review he did of this blog on his blog Wealth Wonders. Rest assured buddy, I'm one of your biggest fans too. By the way... I've never met G-Wee. He does not know me at all, and that makes his posting so great. Go check out his blog: He DOES post often.

Keep up the good work.

Below is a graph to illustrate how the popularity of LOTR has grown in the last couple of weeks. Once again: Thank you to all the fans. I do enjoy your fan mail.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Louis Vuitton Monogram Luxury Items – What a Fashion Icon!

Although the brand has never NOT been popular, Marc Jacobs, artistic director of Louis Vuitton has hit a homerun with the monogram designs. They have an almost cult following amongst celebrities. Never has one handbag brand been so coveted in all of fashion history. An icon has been born.

A Louis Vuitton monogram canvas travel item can set you back anything between $595 and $14,000. These bags are regular features on celebs like Scarlet Johansson, Uma Thurman, Kate Moss, Beyoncé, Naomi Campbell and the Hilton sisters.

And how these handbags command respect! Walk into any department store with a Louis Vuitton bag and you give out signals to the store clerks and owners of “Discerning shopper: Handle as a VIP”

The monogram is used for any travel item; from wallets, to golf bags, large trunks to overnight luggage. At a price, Louis Vuitton will even customise any travel item for you. One thing they won’t do however is compromise their brand, as one rap artist found out. He wanted to customise his SUV with monogram canvass seat covers. Louis Vuitton had no problem saying no, despite him offering vast amounts of money to change their minds.

This 150 year old brand has never been so popular amongst the elite of the world.

Below is a pic of Jessica Simpson walking down the street, clutching her Louis Vuitton.

Friday, May 11, 2007

"Rich Lifestyle" articles of Note 02

Pictured: The 'Waterworld' Hotel - One of the Future/ Concept hotels in the excellent article featured on Born Rich. This is probably the best article they have ever posted. It reminds me of one of my old posts...

New Sister blog

Doing my research for Lifestyles of the Rich, I read many success stories: Rich people and their rags-to-riches stories. It makes for excellent reading. Then about two months ago I heard someone saying: "Study success and you will see new doors open in front of you".

I have been reading about successful people and since then saw how simple the path to success really is. I've read about how a certain person made his fortune and a new idea popped into my head: A gap in the online market. I've since been hard at work and in this week have reaped the rewards!

But I want to share what I've read:

Visit Studying Success.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Lakshmi Mittal’s House – The most expensive residential real estate deal ever done.

Earlier we reported about Updown Court, the world’s most expensive house and Donald Trump’s Florida Mansion, the most expensive house in the USA. Although these two mansions have the titles of being the most expensive houses, they still have to be sold. No body has ever paid that much ($139 million and $125 million respectively) for a residential building. Then who was the person that forked over the most amount of money in a residential real estate transaction?

The answer is Lakshmi Mittal, the Indian steel tycoon and the world’s fifth richest billionaire. His London residence at 18-19 Kensington Palace Gardens was bought from Formula One Boss Bernie Ecclestone in 2004 for a staggering $114.89 million (£62.7 million). And for while the house held the Guinness World Record for the world’s most expensive house. The Mittal/ Ecclestone deal still hold the record as the biggest of its kind.

Another interesting fact: Prince Talal Bin Waleed's palace racked up a construction bill of over $200 million when it was build in the late 80’s. But the palace belongs to his country and not to him per se, so his residence cannot be counted as a “private residential house”.

Another coveted Black Card: The Marquis Card – Partial Private Jet Ownership

Okay, so if you think that maintaining a sports car is a hassle, try owning your own private jet. First you need to buy the plane, find expensive hanger space to store your plane, procure a pilot every time you want to fly, hire the service crew to get the plane ready for flight, get flight attendants and all the while swiping your credit card to pay for it all. Okay, so now you are in the air flying, you reach your destination and once again you have to manage the airport admin, and fly back. Then, how often do you really fly?

Partial ownership of a private Jet makes a lot of sense. And at the forefront of Jet consortiums is MarquisJet. Operating the fleet of NetJets, you get the choice of up to 10 different plane models, from 6 to 14 seaters, with brands like Gulfstream, Hawker, Cessna Citation and Falcon.

All you have to do is get your Marquis Card, book a plane and arrive and fly away at a fraction of the operating cost of owning the Jet. Privacy is guaranteed and the hassle non-existent. Benefits include:
• Exclusive access to the NetJets fleet of over 650 aircraft
• Guaranteed availability 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
• Access to thousands of airports in North America and Europe
• Choice of up to 10 aircraft types
• The option to exchange your jet for a smaller or larger cabin depending on
your needs
• Freedom to exchange between NetJets North American and European
• No "deadheads" or "empty leg" charges within NetJets primary
service area
• No long-term commitment
The best is, I’m not making a cent for posting this article, but the concept is so phenomenal. Flying around in a private jet is one of the ultimate luxuries of being wealthy. The Marquis Card just makes the luxury so much easier. NetJets celebrity customers include tennis star like Tim Henman, golf star Jim Furyk and TV star Kelly Ripa.

Club Sportiva - Partial Sportcar Ownership (Carsharing)

A business associate of mine, Markus, and I had a very good meeting yesterday. He owns his own printing and distribution company and usually makes a good impression in front of potential clients, tailored in Hugo Boss suits, Ralph Lauren shoes and the Breitling watch. He walks into every room with an aura of success: He owns the room.

But he usually does something in every meeting that makes it hard for me to fully concentrate: When he sits down, he takes his car keys out of his pocket and places it on the boardroom table in front of him. I cannot help to notice the keys... Yesterday it was Aston Martin keys. Strange thing is, at our first meeting back in January, the keys were those of a Ferrari and the time after that it was BMW. So obviously I started thinking the printing business must be doing reaaaaally good. Let's forget online, it pays to go offline!

But yesterday I walked him to the car. Yes, there stood a beautiful 2006 Aston Martin DB9 Vantage, its silver body gleaming in the hot sun. I said to Markus: "Beautifull car buddy. What happened to the Ferrari?" He smiled, slipped the Polo Sunglasses on his face and told me the secret... Carsharing. He was part of an exclusive carsharing club. The consortium owns a collection of cars and that both the Aston and the Ferrari were part of the collection. He reserves a sport car every time he wants to impress clients. He makes sure that he does not pitch up at a client with the same car twice! “Markus, Markus, Markus… The tailored suits are enough, buddy!” I thought to myself.

But if you would like to go Markus’ route; here is the phenomenon of carsharing consortiums.

Wikipedia describes carsharing as such:

“Carsharing is a system where a fleet of cars (or other vehicles) is
jointly-owned by the users in distinction from car rental or cars in private
ownership. The users are organized as a democratically-controlled company,
public agency, cooperative, ad hoc grouping. The fleet is made available for use
by members of the carshare group in a wide variety of ways. The costs and
troubles of vehicle purchase, ownership and maintenance are transferred to a
central organizer (the Carshare Operator or more familiarly CSO).”

I searched the net and came to site of Club Sportiva, the Bay area’s largest partial-ownership club. Instead of owning one sportscar and being responsible for all the maintenance of the car, you buy into the hassle-free consortium and instead of having access to only one sportscar, you can have a whole collection to choose from. On Monday you can drive the Lamborghini Gallardo to work, followed by the Porsche 911 Turbo on Tuesday, the vintage Ferrari 348 on Wednesday and so forth. Members do not have to worry about maintaining these bad boys, as they have a professional mechanic shop worrying about the cars’ well-being.

Club Sportiva has a $8 million car collection which includes brands like Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Lotus, Corvette, Jaguar, Bentley, Morgan, Maserati and Mercedes-Benz. The cars vary from new and vintage sport cars to luxury sedans. In some consortiums you car even drive away in the Muscle Cars of yesteryear.

The concept to me is sound. The benefits excellent, and the service that comes with these partial ownership worth the while. BUT, dear Markus, you do not NEED to drive a new car every day to make a deal, but it could help…

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