The ongoing recession isn’t so much of an ongoing recession that such things as luxury-oriented online magazine launch parties aren’t ongoing as well. Manhattan will simply not sit still for global economic collapse, even if the collapse in question happens to be centered on Manhattan.
On the way to Thursday evening’s “Official Media and Celebrity Launch of TheLuxurySpot.com,” my exceedingly female companion was able to point out to me several pairs of designer heels – not in a storefront with a fifty-percent markdown or anything like that, but rather on the actual feet of actual women who had clearly purchased the shoes recently and who didn’t appear to be concerned that they might have to barter them for tuna fish and ammunition in the near future. From an economic standpoint, this is either very reassuring or not reassuring at all. Economics is complicated.
Likewise, it’s hard to say whether or not it is a good sign that a new online publication dedicated to the pursuit of luxury is doing well enough to host an open-bar launch party at the sort of bar where magazines host open-bar launch parties. It’s very nice to see any publication doing well amidst a climate in which New York Times executives spend a good portion of their day writing angry letters to other publications that print articles predicting the imminent demise of The New York Times. And it’s pretty amusing to see such a publication do so well at a time when The New Republic is desperately trying to get me to renew my subscription (which I have no intention of doing).
If The Luxury Spot is selling ads to firms that deal in such adjective-heavy commodities as “Biocollasis Gold Advanced Cellular Radiance Day Crème” – and a quick glance at the website would indicate that it is doing just that – then more power to them, and three cheers for the day crème industry as well.
So what sort of publication have we here? According to the magazine itself, The Luxury Spot’s founders are “a jet-set, in-the-know kind of crew,” which one must agree is a fine thing to be. The website’s author profile page lists dozens of its writers’ individual interests: fleur de sel caramels, Du Wop Lip Venom, Vosges Haut-Chocolate, Pucci clutches, drinking. Many of the contributors work in PR or aspire to do so; incongruously enough, a couple are fixtures of The Huffington Post, which is similar to The Luxury Spot insomuch as that it is expanding in an age of general contraction but which is dissimilar to it in every other way imaginable; the site’s content deals heavily in such things as the obtaining of “wonderful skin,” makeovers of the “extreme” school, and allegations to the effect that Amy Winehouse accidentally set herself on fire last week.