This corresponds to the "new" upper class pretty well. The Bourgeois Bohemian (BoBo) lifestyle is all about shunning conspicuous consumption and embracing utilitarian "socially responsible" and seemingly individualistic type spending instead.
"Bobos in Paradise" is a good book that deals with this subject.
I think that was brilliant little essay and as a young man facing less opportunities then his parent's generation for the first time, I think he's summed up the role luxury plays in my life. My friends are offended by some of my taste in luxury items and so it is something I do for myself out of an interest in quality and a personal belief in the value of aesthetics and design in out lives, not to convey social standing.
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