government-trade
government-trade

Then and Now: A Guide to Consumption

A cheat sheet to the recent binge and the eventual purge.

View Slideshow

Boom Celebrity: Paris Hilton

Claus Starup

Bust Drug: Lexapro

Bust Drug: Lexapro

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Bust Beauty Regimen: At-home manicure

Bust Beauty Regimen: At-home manicure

Courtesy Photo

Boom Shoes: Balenciaga's $6,495 Spring 2008 Gladiator Boots.

Boom Shoes: Balenciaga's $6,495 Spring 2008 Gladiator Boots.

Giovanni Giannoni

For half a decade we put up with them, watching helplessly as they took over the zeitgeist: celebrities who were famous for doing nothing, restaurants whose tabs were the most noteworthy part of the experience, artists who netted millions marinating animals in formaldehyde. It was a consumerist moment like no other, and it seemed like it would never end. Until it did. Below, a cheat sheet to the recent binge and the eventual purge.

Celebrity
Boom
Paris Hilton: Because no one better encapsulated the way in which the rich got richer while people with actual talent were ignored. In a way, she was the perfect analogue to the Bush presidency: a person whose bloodline made her ascent possible, who was lampooned endlessly for her alleged vapidity and whose disapproval ratings by late 2008 hovered around 75 percent.

Bust

Suze Orman: These days, the money lady is such a frequent presence on Oprah Winfrey and Larry King, she could practically be billed as a co-host.

Business Strategy
Boom
Branding

Bust
Restructuring

Night Spot
Boom
The Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel

Bust
Momofuku Milk Bar: Where after-dinner cookies run $1.50 each if you buy half a dozen and the soft-serve ice cream is a modest (by New York standards) $4.

Growth Industry
Boom
Derivatives trading

Bust
Distressed real estate

Network
Boom

CNBC: Take it away, John Stewart! Wall Street’s unofficial mascot Jim Cramer was plugging everything from Bear Sterns to Wachovia, right before they went under. Maria Bartiromo, the network’s “money honey,” meanwhile, did a profile on Citigroup’s chairman Sanford Weill when she owned stock in the company. She denied allegations she was having an affair with Todd Thomson, the former chief of Citigroup’s wealth management unit, although she did fly all over the place with him on Citi’s corporate jet.

Bust
CNBC: Indignance is the flavor du jour, and many of the network’s newest voices seem to be gaining traction with the Republican Party faithful, who are eager to turn President Obama into the new villain of the financial crisis.

MORE Boom vs. Bust >>

Drug
Boom
Oxycontin

Bust
Lexapro

Destination
Boom
Dubai

Bust
Anywhere upstate

Beauty Regimen
Boom
Oxygen facials with Tracie Martyn

Bust
At-home manicure

Event
Boom
Art Basel

Bust
Job fair

Other Boom Artifacts:

Society Phenomenon
Socialites without money: They showed up at virtually every envelope opening with a junior committee. Being sample-size meant design houses would lend them free things. They even got jobs there, in the p.r. departments no less, sending dresses to other sample-size, penniless socials on the scene as the party pages breathlessly followed their adventures.

Corporate Hangout
The Core Club: The epitome of Millennial vulgarity, this club charged founding members $100,000 just to join. These masters of the universe were supposed to receive their money back after five years, but no dice. In November, Page Six reported the club had sent out an e-mail saying, “We have been progressively meeting with Founding Members to review a variety of programs to address this situation.” Translation? “I’m not getting my money back,” said one member.

Block
27th Street between 10th and 11th: Marquee, Cain, Pink Elephant. It was, as BlackBook Magazine put it, “The Bermuda Triangle of debauchery,” a place where hedge-fund schmucks blew their wads on bottle service and girls in Jimmy Choo heels. Now the firms that employed these losers are downsizing themselves into oblivion and the party boys have to rejoin the human race. Welcome back!

Publication
Trader Monthly

Artist
Damien Hirst

Collector
Steven Cohen

Town
Greenwich, Conn.

Country
Russia

Fetish
Russian call girls

Beverage
Energy drinks

Restaurant
Buddakan

Hotel Chain
Gansevoort

Architect
Zaha Hadid

Fashion Job
Celebrity stylist

Shoe
Balenciaga’s Spring 2008 Gladiator Boots

Bag
Louis Vuitton-Richard Prince Monogram Joke Bag for Spring 2008

View Slideshow
load comments

ADD A COMMENT

Sign in using your Facebook or Twitter account, or simply type your comment below as a guest by entering your email and name. Your email address will not be shared. Please note that WWD reserves the right to remove profane, distasteful or otherwise inappropriate language.
blog comments powered by Disqus