The Neiman Marcus 2019 ‘Fantasy Gifts’ are here to make you feel poor
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But, billionaires do exist and they’re living as lavishly as ever. Case in point: Neiman Marcus recently released its 2019 list of “Fantasy Gifts,” a curated collection of items and experiences available for purchase via the retailer, each more exorbitant than the last.
And unless you’re a part of the nation’s top 2 percent (the company’s target market), you might think this is a joke. But it’s not.
The gift list reads like an Onion article of what lower/middle class people think the rich buy one another for Christmas. Fancy cars. Luxury trips. A $70,000 house for your dog.
The gifts are part of their InCircle membership, which allows customers to earn points on purchases. (A portion of the proceeds from these gifts go to benefit a collection of nonprofits, including The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation, Food for Soul, American Humane, and the Opportunity Network.)
One of the suggested gifts in the guide is an Aston Martin DBS Superleggera designed by Daniel Craig, retailing for $700,007. The package also includes airfare to London to see the Aston Martin come off the assembly line, a limited-edition Omega timepiece, and two tickets to the world premiere of the new James Bond movie with airfare and lodging included.
This is real.
The Neiman Marcus Fantasy Gifts put a crisp spotlight on the wealth gap in our country.
When you first look through the gift guide, you might find yourself laughing at how ridiculous and over-the-top it seems — until it sets in that some people are actually able to live like this. The list feels acutely out of touch with reality, which is on purpose — these are supposed to be the most extravagant things money can buy.
The annual Fantasy Gifts list gives everyday people a glance into the lifestyle of the upper echelons. In an interview with The Goods by Vox, Mimi Crume Sterling, vice president of corporate communications and PR at Neiman Marcus, said that the goal of Fantasy Gifts is to get publicity, not to sell them. She said if they do sell any of the items, it’s sort of a bonus.
These gifts are here to let us envision our aspirational lives where we can afford to purchase a $250,000 New York Fashion Week experience or take cooking lessons with a world-famous chef in Italy for $200,000. It’s a chance to fantasize about what we’d spend a million dollars on — if we had it.
In that same interview with The Goods, Sterling says that the people buying the gifts are “people who don’t need another suit or another handbag but still have fantasies and money to spend.” Because the company isn’t really expecting to sell the Fantasy Gifts, it’s nice that a portion of the proceeds to go to charity. It’s definitely an incentive for those with the means.
Though the Fantasy Gifts are supposed to be over-the-top and fun to look through, we can’t help thinking that they put a crisp spotlight on the wealth gap in our country. According to (which is no longer publishing), 40 percent of Neiman Marcus shoppers have a household net worth of $1 million or higher. That means that they actually can afford to buy some of these ridiculous gifts.
The piece gets into the idea of , which leads the rich to a view that society as a whole is more well-off than it actually is because the people immediately around them are living well. Think of it as an echo chamber of wealth.
But most of us will be spending this holiday season treating the Fantasy Gifts as just that: fantasies.
The Zuckerbergs and Kylie Jenners of the world can enjoy their expensive cars and customized Louboutins while the rest of us laugh (read: cry) over how absurd the truly are and wait for the revolution to come.
If you’d like to see more ridiculous gift suggestions for the rich and famous, peep the full list over at BlackFriday.com.