Think a stroller is just a way to transport your kids? Think again. High-end strollers like those by Bugaboo are flying off the shelves, and run anywhere from $500 to $2,000. One Bugaboo model that converts from a single stroller into a side-by-side double has a $1,659 price tag, and a waiting list to buy one. Another stroller by Kid Kustoms has a vinyl leather seat and optional iPod speakers, for a mere $3,500. Celebrities like Naomi Watts and Gwen Stefani have been spotted pushing around expensive Bugaboo prams, and their popularity has spread to suburban streets across the country.
Last year, Carolina Herrera reported that, to her pleasant surprise, her $7,990 gray sequined ball gowns were “selling like hotcakes.” Other top designers also reported stellar earnings, including Louis Vuitton(up 23% from 2010 to $24.3 billion), Hermes (up 41% to $11.9 billion), and Chanel (up 23% to $6.8 billion). The king of American style, Ralph Lauren, saw his $13 billion-valued company’s stock grow 150% in the two years since June 2009. High-end department stores have snagged some of the profits as well. Saks reported quarterly earnings up 50% this year.