'Gold-collar' consumers

They’re 18 to 25 years old, working at a poorly paid service job, living at home and buying $325 Christian Dior sunglasses. “Gold collar” young adults have Keitel One vodka tastes on a beer budget.

To sustain a lifestyle inspired by rap videos and pop culture magazines such as Us, they spend a disproportionate amount of their disposable income on expensive brand-name products and services.

. . . Lacking an identity, they attempt to create their own through expensive clothing and accessories, said Ian Pierpoint, a senior vice president at the Chicago research firm Synovate.

“This is the best-dressed, least-able, least-equipped generation ever,” Pierpoint said. “If you’re 24 or 25 and you’re still at home, you’re not doing a lot of things, like paying your own utilities. They are in some ways very experienced, but they are more coddled than other generations.”

Synovate estimates more than a third of blue-collar young adults are “gold collar” consumers.

Good luck ever moving out of Mom and Dad’s house.

About Joanne


  1. Bob Diethrich says:

    thank you Joanne for this link. I teach history at a very up-scacle high school west of Houston. I teach both advanced and regular classes and unfortunatly so many of my regular kids have no work ethic, don’t put forth any effort, have no drive and no desire.

    I have gotten the attitude of “The car I got for my sixteenth birthday costs more than you make in a year so ‘F**K You'” more than once.

    I have always wondered what would become of these kids who have not learned by tenth grade that, when the man in the tie at the front of the classroom speaks, you should have a pencil in your hand or a notebook open. In the tenth grade and they sit there with blank desks and even blanker stares.

    I know that most of them will get accepted to some state college in a few years because the state colleges need a certain number of people to write tuition checks, and I know that most of them will fail out.

    So now I know what they will do. They will live in Mommmy and Daddy’s home well into their thrities, they will still drive cars better than mine because they don’t have to pay rent and they will continue as the most spoiled rotten generation this country has ever produced.

    Wow, I have always wondered what would happen to them. I can only hope Mommy and Daddy throw them out by the time they are 40!

  2. superdestroyer says:

    This is most of the youth culture in Japan. The kids who are left out of the top tier high schools have no future and no hope. They will live with their parents for a very long time and spend most of their income on discretionary spending.

  3. Mr. Davis says:

    Interesting that the perspective, to blame the child. How about blaming the parents for tying the kiddies so tight with the apron strings that they can’t leave home? Mom and Dad must like the situation or they’d be doing something about it like continuing to treat them like children; bed by 9:00, home by 11:00 on weekends, above market rent, etc. Mommy and daddy created this mess, so don’t blame the poor kid who is only doing what she were trained to.

  4. I blame both the kids and the parents. There’s no rule that says you have to pick one or the other. Either the kids or the parents could put an end to such a living arrangement; for it to continue both must acquiesce.

    I wonder what will happen when the parents hit retirement age and the income dries up?

  5. Ehhh, whatever. I can’t imagine these kids have tremendously fulfilling lives if their sole purpose and their sole identity is to consume.

    Hopefully they will wake up (though it may also require a dope-slap on the part of their parents) and realize that life isn’t all about the “bling.”

    I was a 24-25 year old living in my parents’ house, but I had lived on my own before and moved back (at their offer) when I was attending grad school nearby, so I could save money. Made a huge difference – I didn’t have to take out any loans, and I was able to put away a small amount of money that I used as a down-payment on the house I’m living in now.

  6. nailsagainsttheboard says:

    Wow, what a surprise…the narcissistic offspring of the narcissistic parents of the Me Generation spending $$$ indiscriminately….the chickens have come home to roost.