Ritu Kumar is the Vera Wang of Indian bridal wear, one of the oldest and most coveted designers for Indian women on their big day. She’s also a big name for formal women’s fashion and even western clothing in India. Her stores are fondly known as “Ritu’s”.

The Everstone Group, the India and South East Asia focused private equity investor that recently invested in Burger King here, has now put Rs1bn ($16.7m) into buying an equity stake in the brand, part of a wider trend in investor interest in India’s luxury fashion sector. Read more

The 1980′s gave us the Yuppies – Young Upwardly Mobile Professionals – who would wear bright v-neck sweaters with stiff shirt collars (on rare days off). They dreamed of climbing the corporate ladder and had a habit of calling the things they bought – cars, electronic gadgets and luxuries – “toys”.

Now, according to HSBC, we are in the grip of a new social phenomenon – the rise of the Yummy. Yummy stands for “Young Urban Male” and denotes a new “metro-sexual shift” in men’s shopping habits that is set to drive spending on luxury goods for years to come. Read more

From flash ‘Guchi’ trainers to fashionable ‘Caiwen Kelai’ boxers, Mumbai’s popular Chor Bazaar (meaning “thieves’ market”) can fulfil all your luxury desires. Often for less than Rs100 ($1.62) a pop.

India’s market for counterfeit luxury goods is expanding at a compound annual growth rate of as much as 45 per cent, according to a new report from the the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India. But some analysts reckon the numbers themselves lack the ring of authenticity. Read more

Luxury shopping: not as popular as it was

By Ben Aris of bne

A Russian joke from the 1990s: Two Novy Russkis meet on the street. “Nice tie,” says the first. “How much did it cost?”

“Its Hermes,” says the second. “It cost a $100!”

“You’re crazy!” says the first. “I know where you can buy the same one for $200!” Read more

Professional tea maker is preparing the aged Wuyi Oolong tea, filling the press conference with the ancient fragrance of tea

Chinese buyers have pushed up prices for French red wines, fine art and London homes. Now they have a chance to bid up their own vintage national drink – tea – at what is being billed as the first rare tea auction in Hong Kong.

Teas more than half a century old will go on the block at the “Sensation of tea” auction on Saturday at Hong Kong’s Park Lane Hotel. One box of rare Narcissus Oolong tea could fetch as much as HK$1m ($129,000), according to the organisers.

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Russian collectors are a growing force on the booming global art market, where prices for trophy works are beating all-time records. But it is Russian art that will take centre stage next week as leading auction houses in London offer an eclectic range of important works from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Russian art is not yet fully appreciated by international connoisseurs. But rich Russians can’t get enough of it. They’re prepared to fork out huge sums for a slice of their national heritage. Read more

Let's go shopping

We have a new class of customer in town, or in India at least – the “closet consumer”.

India accounts for just 1-2 per cent of the global market for luxury but this is set to rocket thanks to a newly wealthy section of the population, according to a new research from the Confederation of Indian Industry and IMRB International, the market researchers. Read more

The luxury goods market is heavily reliant on China, that much is clear. So any economic slowdown or reduction in asset prices – or anti-corruption drive, for that matter – can hurt the market.

But “luxury” is a pretty diverse market. So which products are most affected by the whims of the Chinese consumer, or by the direction of the government? Read more

When guessing the nationalities of which wealthy shoppers currently fuel the ongoing boom in global luxury sales, there can be little question as to which countries are leaders of the pack.

But beyond the predictable spending power of Chinese, Russian and Japanese travellers – it seems that some rather unexpected contenders are snapping at their heels. Read more

Tiawanese yacht makers like Horizon and Bluewater have helped push the country up the ranking of leading boat makers. The problem is that the whole industry has shrunk as a result of the global financial crisis. The FT’s Sarah Mishkin reports from Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan.

So far, China has been the emerging market worth watching in the art world. Now, the big boys are getting serious about India, too.

Christie’s said this week it would hold its first auction in Mumbai in December. Read more

Dalian Wanda Group, China’s largest premier commercial property and entertainment conglomerate, confirmed on Wednesday that it’s going ahead with a widely-signalled £320m deal to buy control of Sunseeker International, the British luxury yacht maker, and a £700m luxury hotel development in central London.

The £1bn combined investment highlights the ambitious Chinese developer’s commitment to international expansion and its faith in the British economy – or at least in two sub-sectors of great interest to wealthy Asians. Read more

Worried about the slowdown in the Chinese economy? Or Beijing’s austerity drive? Lane Crawford, the iconic Hong Kong purveyor of luxury brands, is not.

It says the time is just right to open a shop in Shanghai which, at 150,000 square feet, is twice the size of any other Lane Crawford store anywhere. It will open in September. Read more

China has been the bright spot in the luxury car universe for years, but in the first quarter of this year growth slowed to only 4 per cent. The FT’s Patti Waldmeir reports on how the Chinese government’s anti-corruption drive and a slowing economy are hitting luxury car sales.

A woman is seen holding two Hermes branded shopping bags outside a store, the company is operated by Hermes International SCA in Paris, France, on Monday, Sept. 17, 2012. Hermes, in which LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA owns a 22.3 percent stake, is seeking to tap growing demand for luxury goods in Asia, where wealthy clients continue to increase spending on items such as Birkin bags.©Bloomberg

The timing is exquisite. Just a day after China’s government said the country had entered a period of slower growth, along come two companies from opposite ends of the consumer goods spectrum (both French) to illustrate what the change means. Feeling the pain is LVMH, the luxury conglomerate. First quarter sales in Asia (outside Japan) grew by 12 per cent. That is not bad, but it is a slowdown from the 17 per cent growth reported in the same period in 2012.

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Wow. We knew Chinese babies were guzzling back so much foreign-made formula that British and supermarkets had to impose rationing. Now it appears their parents are handing over cans of stuff as gifts at Chinese new year, rather than the more traditional – and surely welcome – bottles of Scotch and Cognac. Read more

By Irene Madongo and Rob Minto

When it comes to new markets for top-class wines, most people tend to think of China buying up France, by the bottle and by the vineyard.

So when it comes to champagne, where are the big growth markets? The Brics? To an extent, yes. But there is one country high on the list that might surprise: Nigeria, which is expected to see the second biggest increase in sales volume over the next five years. How come? Chart of the week takes a look. Read more

By James Kynge, principal of FT China Confidential

Frugality may be the new watchword of incoming President Xi Jinping, but while wealthy Chinese consumers may be cutting conspicuous consumption at home, they are spending ever-larger sums in ever-greater numbers abroad.

A recent survey by FT China Confidential shows the wealthiest 26 per cent of outbound tourists spent an average of Rmb32,628 ($5,241) on their most recent overseas trip, with shopping accounting for almost half the total spend (Rmb15,699).

Furthermore, this cohort of 21m travellers, which we expect to grow significantly in the coming years, plans to spend an average of Rmb43,770 ($7,032) on their next overseas trip this year, representing a 34 per cent increase on their most recent trip. Read more

Is it party time again for Chinese distillers? It has been a rough few months for the makers of China’s fiery baijiu spirits. Their sales and stock prices slumped after Xi Jinping, the incoming president, railed against corruption and banned the boozy banquets loved by officials across the country.

But like a passed-out drinker getting a second wind, the distillers picked themselves off the floor in rousing fashion to end the week. The share prices of many of China’s biggest brands – Kweichou Moutai, Wuliangye and Jiugui – leaped 4-10 per cent over the last three days of the week, while the broader Chinese stock market fell 5 per cent, its worst week since mid-2011. Read more

By Ben Aris of bne

What’s the point of belonging to the emerging middle class if you don’t look good? That’s the idea behind KupiVIP, Russia’s leading online fashion store, which expects annual revenues to reach a billion dollars by the end of the decade. Read more