A wise man once said “Don’t hate the player, hate the game”. I first heard that when I was a teenager and although it struck me as catchy, I never got too deep on what it meant. However, after I saw the news this week about a $103,000 suit that just hit the market, I gave that old saying some serious thought.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in capitalism, free enterprise, and all that jazz, but some things just take it to a whole other level. But it begs an obvious question: What exactly would motivate someone to spend that type of money on an item of clothing when people around the globe are homeless, starving, and in the midst of a worldwide recession?
The suit is the brainchild of Alexander Amosu, an accomplished entrepreneur who made his fortune selling hip hop and R&B ring tones in the UK. He soon entered the luxury brand market by transitioning into customized, diamond-encrusted iPhones, Blackberrys and mobile accessories. His unique, custom designs soon caught the attention of many celebrities including Akon, 50 Cent, and Queen Latifah.
Here’s Mr. Amosu’s game: He has extensive experience in selling to certain people who are are able and willing to pay for the pursuit of one-of-a-kind luxury goods. It’s not good enough to have any old Louis Vuitton purse; it must be the rare style that no one else has, either because few can afford it or because there is only a handful in the world that exist.
So if you’ve already got the $140k diamond and gold iPod, a $100K suit could be your logical next purchase– it could even seem like a bargain, relatively speaking. If this speaks to you, you’re looking for more than a cute or functional accessory. You are in search of an ‘experience’ – the experience of throwing wealth around aimlessly on items for no other reason than the fact that you can.
So what goes into a $100,000 suit? This definitely is not your granddaddy’s polyester leisure getup. This creation is made from the finest fabrics in the world including:
Vicuna – an extremely rare animal from South America who is closely related to the camel
Qiviuk -which is gathered from Arctic Muskox- the most expensive wool available.
Genuine platinum and gold thread
When these materials are blended with pashmina from the high mountain plateaus of the Himalayas, they create a new material branded Vanquish II, “one of the world’s most luxurious cloths”.
To add icing on the cake as well as dazing and confusing your haters, the nine 18-karat gold and pave-set diamond buttons puts in enough shine to blind passersby. Who can actually see *you* when you are draped in materials from the Himalayas and diamond buttons? The accents on your suit cost alone cost more than your average moguls $900 Hugo Boss.
And as a gift with purchase, “(the suit will) include a 1 hour flight by private jet to anywhere in the world by Cloud9, 1 year free wealth management from Cheviot Asset Management and a 24 hr Global Concierge service”.
So am I hating the game or the player on this one?
Despite the over-the-top materials and on point marketing, at the end of the day a suit is really just a suit. The other ~$95k or so is for the experience that one feels by wearing it. It is obvious to me that someone who buys this type of suit wants to scream about their wealth to the world in a super loud fashion.
To me, money does not really mean anything unless you can do good deeds that uplift others. My question to someone who would buy this item: how many people could you have helped with $100,000? (You can even hold back an extra $6,000 to spend on an expensive suit if you still need affirmation). One of the effects of the recession appears to be re-focusing folks’ personal priorities. Family, loved ones, helping others…as opposed to consumption, self gratitude and individuality. This sounds like the right kind game to be playing.
While I appreciate Mr. Amosu’s hustle, I wonder if his products appeals to the best in people… or the worst.
Here’s the CNN coverage of Mr. Amosu and The Suit: