The blog of Tokyo based photographer and photojournalist, Damon Coulter

How the other half lives


Did you know that eighty percent of Louis Vuitton’s sales are to Japanese people? That is quite a scary number really and the phrase “putting all your eggs in one basket” immediately springs to find. The Japanese are a fickle people and fashions and fads come and go very quickly here. Luckily for Louis Vuitton however the Japanese woman’s love of their handbags has yet to diminish and to lever in yet another idiom I would say LV is “making hay while the sun shines”. Bigtime! 

The reason I am talking about Louis Vuitton is that up until my wife’s birthday this week I had been lucky and proud to say she was not an LV girl. Most Japanese women are. Well guess what she wanted for her birthday? So on Tuesday night I found myself in the Louis Vuitton shop in Yokohama. It was my first time in such a store and like the time I went to Raffles in Singapore for a drink I felt unworthy, under-dressed and basically too obviously poor to enter. But not until I had looked around the store did I realise I was actually too poor to enter. Now my wife may talk of the quality of the leather but I was shocked to discover that for the prices they were asking on rather small and boring handbags I could probably buy a whole cow (or two). I didn’t dare look at the price of the luggage suffice to say I have probably spent less, in total, on my ten years of travelling the world than I would need for a set of LV suitcases for a week in Hawaii Japanese style. 

I love my wife and everything but that is outrageous. I cannot understand how someone can charge that much money for something so basic. Okay so camera equipment is not cheap and if I wanted (and I do want very very much) the new Canon EOS1D Mark III it would be hard to justify the price but I can at least see where some of that money has been spent in the construction of the camera. Louis Vuitton is quality I’m sure of that but come on, 1,500 quid for a handbag!. Still LV will not lose any sleep over my paltry sanction; the shop was heaving. 

On a different note my new style website is coming along slowly. The galleries are changing dramatically getting more reportage style and hopefully cleaner and more informative. I really want to get this side of my business up to speed and will probably need to go digital soon to keep up with the established snappers in Tokyo all of whom can get their pics out a lot faster than I can. Should hopefully have the transitional style sorted out within the next few weeks and be ready to tout for business again soon after. Of course I am still available now! Talk to you soonDamon 

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3 responses

  1. Andy

    I’m not surprised you’re available if you won’t spend £1500 on a handbag for your wife!
    Good to see your site evolving and the regular posts keep me amused
    Cheers!

    March 29, 2007 at 4:04 pm

  2. Thanks Andy.
    I cannot afford that much money on a camera or a handbag but it was fun to be a tourist in such a world. The security guards followed me closly however. must have been the smirk of embarressment on my face!
    Damon

    March 29, 2007 at 4:08 pm

  3. Andy

    Well I won’t be buying a LV handbag for Zoe in two weeks time either

    March 30, 2007 at 11:29 am

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