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I am not Rich

Crystal Yu (heart), at her themed birthday celebration in Shanghai final year. The theme for this get together was The great Gatsby.

A young woman is strutting down the catwalk in a pristine white Stella Lam night gown as 50 immaculately dressed friends dine on beautifully plated high quality delicacies prepared by a Michelin-starred chef.

The entire scene appears like a style show at first look, but it is actually just Crystal Yu’s twenty fifth birthday celebration. The celebrations also have a theme — this year’s was Fifty Shades of Grey but there have been no scandalous or lewd acts happening, only a script-reading session the place guests recite their favorite lines from the movie. Final year’s equally extravagant birthday party was themed after another blockbuster film The good Gatsby, and it’s additionally one that Crystal says she can significantly relate to.

“My associates at all times name me The great Crystal, in reference to The great Gatsby who within the film can be a personality with an incredible mind that enjoys a high-quality life,” stated Crystal, who now runs her personal marriage ceremony and event consultancy. The corporate title The nice Crystal.

“We should not partying for the sake of getting drunk. This is only a informal social occasion where I get to share with my friends my persona, my hobbies and my approach of living,” she added.

Crystal Yu takes a vacation as soon as each two months as journeys are an essential half for her “rich-in-soul” way of life. Photo Provided TO CHINA Daily

Glitz and glamor
Those who do not know this fairly 25-yr-previous girl may label her as a fuerdai, or “rich second generation”, a term used to describe young individuals who were born into rich families within the 1980s or later. These offspring of the nouveau riche are often stereotyped for being spoilt, arrogant and promote-willed, with many recognized to senselessly splurge their parents’ cash and show a blatant disrespect for the legislation.

In 2009, a 20-year-old fuerdai named Hu Bin killed a man while rushing in his Mitsubishi sports activities automobile. The younger man’s dangerous driving and the response of his pals, who joked with each other after the accident, later sparked public outrage and has until at present been seen as a typical example of fuerdai arrogance.

But Crystal, whose mother and father are wealthy bankers, refused to be labeled as such. She proudly claimed that she has been financially independent from her university days in Shanghai when she took on half-time jobs that gave her a month-to-month earnings of eight,000 yuan ($1,290). It’s a powerful quantity to earn for a student, since the average monthly salary in Shanghai is about 7,100 yuan, in keeping with a survey by recruitment portal Zhaopin.com.

A kind of jobs was a marketing position at M1NT, one in all Shanghai’s most exclusive clubs.
“I actually recognize those years working at M1NT as a result of it showed me the luxurious world — not how to spend extra money however find out how to enjoy life and have higher style in issues,” she mentioned.

Crystal, who now makes a five-determine month-to-month wage because the boss of The great Crystal, pays for all her designer put on and holidays herself. She stated that she has always been an impartial particular person — when she was 18, she chose to check in Shanghai, away from her home in Nantong, Jiangsu province. And in contrast to common students who would spend their time at libraries and dormitories, she spent her free time organizing occasions and socializing with refined people.

In early 2014, she made the choice to leave her job and embark on a round-the-world journey for half the 12 months to discover the world and work out what to do subsequent. She additionally took time off her sightseeing activities to visit a number of occasion organizing companies to discuss how she can carry the western-type get together culture again to China.

“I am not rich, however I’ve set certain requirements for my outfits and way of life, which must be exquisite and nicely-tailored,” stated Crystal, who’s decked out in a white Valentino costume, Salvatore Ferragamo heels and a Louis Vuitton handbag. She said that this inclination was influenced by her mother, who as soon as taught her that it is healthier to buy fewer excessive-high quality outfits from well-identified manufacturers as a substitute of many low cost ones from taobao.com.

Today, Crystal takes a vacation as soon as every two months. She said a diving trip in summer time and a skiing trip in winter are essential getaways for her “rich-in-soul” life-style.

Yu Qian exhibits off his collection of flying jackets. The most costly one prices him virtually 50,000 yuan.

The collector
Unlike Crystal who spends most of her time and money on excessive-class events and luxurious trips, Yu Qian, whose father used to personal 4 coal mines, has a more muted lifestyle — he collects vintage clothes, notably handmade denims and flying jackets.

The 32-year-old is the founder of an organization ferragamo belt collection that offers customized home theater services priced from 600,000 yuan to 2 million yuan for rich families in Chengdu, Sichuan province. The man said that he doesn’t stay the life of opulence or decadence — he just loves amassing vintage wear, and admittedly has spent quite a fortune on it.

“I like to buy original-colored jeans and wear them out. The colors then fade as time passes by,” said Yu, who has been accumulating historically handmade jeans from Japan for the reason that age of 20. He now owns a whole bunch of pairs of such jeans.

Nonetheless, it’s his assortment of flying jackets that he has invested more money and time into. Yu’s wardrobe comprises more than 30 such jackets, with colors ranging from mild tan to darkish brown. Some are adorned with World War II US Military Air Corps squadron patches and elaborate again artworks. Caricatures and patches of scantily-clad girls, a native American chief and even a Walt Disney-designed flying tiger accompanied by the insignia of the Flying Tigers, a US volunteer group that fought alongside the Chinese language in opposition to Japan in World Warfare II, had been painted on the flight jackets.

Though Japan was the Flying Tigers’ enemy practically 70 years in the past, as we speak it is the home of the amekaji (Japanese pronounced American casual) subculture that’s also rising in recognition in China. Every year, no more than a hundred handmade flight jackets are fastidiously copied from the originally numbered World War II US Army Air Corps leather jackets and issued by a well-liked Japanese flight jacket brand Toysmccoy.

“Flight jackets are a product of struggle. Sporting them makes a man really feel extra masculine. The jackets’ decorations and historical past made me fall in love with them,” said Yu, who regularly flies to Japan to purchase flight jackets that price between 20,000 yuan and 30,000 yuan each. The most expensive piece in his assortment is a flight jacket painted by a Japanese artist, which cost him almost 50,000 yuan.

Like other Chinese language amekaji fashionistas, Yu likes the nostalgic enchantment of the clothes and the best way they’re reinventing retro American trend, notably army wear.

“Collecting those nostalgic objects requires an excessive amount of funding of time and money, but it surely also enriches my life with a deeper understanding of history and culture,” stated Yu.

He has now started to create his own flight jackets, designing the patterns and drawings based on historical past before having professional artists paint on the handmade flight jackets which are bought from Japan.

Yu additionally created a bit in a web-based forum for individuals to discuss about this distinctive passion.
“I don’t have any unhealthy habits like drinking or smoking, however I just can not assist throwing cash at these clothing with cultural and historical backgrounds,” stated Yu, who also collects lots of copies of magazines in regards to the historical past of the US Air Force, greater than 20 pairs of Redwing shoes (it has manufactured boots for American soldiers during World Struggle II), and many silver vintage accessories.

Misunderstood folks
Like Crystal, Yu refused to be labeled a fuerdai, saying that it’s a damaging time period that connotes an individual squandering money he or she doesn’t earn. Both individuals have described themselves as individuals who focus more on reaching an excellent high quality of life, and that they’re not necessarily rich.

“As with most labels, fuerdai simplifies a fancy concern, serving as an anchor for detrimental emotions about societal, economic, and political situations in today’s China,” mentioned Yu Hai, a professor of sociology at Fudan College.

“Many young folks born into wealthy families have their distinctive, luxurious lifestyles as they don’t have to fret about how much they spend,” added Zhou Ting, director of Fortune Character Research Center.

This situation has even gotten the attention of the central authorities. At a working conference of the United Front Work Department (UFWD) in Could, President Xi Jinping known as for extra efforts to “guide the younger generation of non-public enterprise owners to suppose the place their cash comes from and live a positive life”.

According to the China Spiritual Investments White Paper 2014 co-released by Industrial Bank Co Ltd and the Hurun Report, more than 85 % of China’s non-state enterprises are family-owned. In the following five to 10 years, round seventy five % of the household-owned enterprises will see the second generation take over. And problems with rich youth may affect the succession and even dampen the general public confidence within the private economic system. The UFWD urged wealthy younger people to commit their cash to increasing manufacturing, investments in public welfare and charity work.

The report additionally stated that probably the most affluent Chinese language usually tend to care about “spiritual rewards” now that they no longer have to fret about having sufficient cash. The report outlined spiritual investments as those that satisfy inner needs but don’t essentially have a direct financial return.

In the meantime, there are additionally consultants who’ve backed these like Crystal and Yu.
Ferragamo Varina Flat Black“Although sure individuals have given this group a foul title, most second generations are accountable and hardworking. They’re formidable and use their innovative concepts to run companies,” stated Xiong Bingqi, an training expert from the 21st Century Schooling Research Institute.