Chinese drive boom in luxury bathrooms

Isaac Mostovicz writes that new designer bathrooms with Chinese tastes in mind show the influence of China on the luxury market...

According to the FT, bathrooms are the latest luxury product vied for by wealthy Chinese consumers and are making a mark on the rest of the world.

The $6,400 Numi toilet by designer bathroom manufacturer Kohler is currently one of most popular items in bathroom-ware. The Numi has its own foot warmer, heated seat, bidet washlet and built-in music system (inspired by China’s entertainment-obsessed consumers) and is controlled by a touchscreen remote. Kohler designer the toilet with the Chinese luxury consumer in mind.

While I don’t mean to ponder on toilets for too long, what the Numi illustrates is the growing influence of Chinese tastes on the global markets. Before, luxury goods manufacturers sold items to China that were based on western tastes. Later on, these items became tailored to Chinese tastes. Now, those Chinese tastes are dictating the luxury goods that the manufacturer makes. The FT notes that Beijing is “aiming to transform China from the world’s sweatshop to its design studio.” More evidence of the increasing influence of China…

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