By Daniel Bukszpan, CNBC.com
People love to read about celebrities who spend huge sums of money on luxury items-even in these hard times. After all, who wouldn't be amused to learn that Paris Hilton owns a $325,000 doghouse that's an exact replica of her own mansion?
The limits of celebrity conspicuous consumption continue to be pushed. Some of the rich and famous have distinguished themselves by the sheer quantities of cash spent on quirky luxury items-up to $1 million or more. Often, the practicality of these purchases is dubious at best, and nonexistent at worst.
Who are some of the celebrities who have spent around $1 million or more on decadent extravagances?
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Rihanna is a singer who's been appearing regularly on the Billboard charts since her 2005 debut album "Music of the Sun." She followed such chart-topping singles as "Umbrella" and "Disturbia" with more top-selling albums all the
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By Daniel Bukszpan, CNBC.comRead More »from Celebrity Million-Dollar Extravagances
- CNBC | Fashion – Thu, Sep 15, 2011 7:14 PM EDT
By Jessica Golden, CNBC.com
A rack full of items from the Missoni for Target collection.
Target shoppers went mad for Missoni this week, and the fallout from the frenzy is still being felt days later.
Shoppers rushed in to buy items from the 400-piece collection from the Italian fashion house, which went on sale Tuesday. The limited-edition piece sold out in many stores in a matter of minutes and so many customers rushed to the company's website that it crashed several times.
Now, more then 30,000 Missoni for Target items are being resold on eBay at a steep mark-up. Other items have found their way to other secondary markets such as Craig's List.
"They should probably be calling it Missoni for Target for eBay," says one observer on Twitter.
Designer Margherita Maccapani Missoni urged shoppers today to avoid the items on eBay.
"You guys! very silly to buy #missonifortarget on eBay for 3 times the price!! For that money go out and get M Missoni and you'll avoid looking all the same," she tweeted to her more than 14,000Read More »from Missoni Launch: Success or Missed Opportunity for Target?
By Christina Cheddar Berk & Jessica Naziri, CNBC.com
Spring is in the Air
There were many crosscurrents as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week kicked off on Sept. 8 at New York's Lincoln Center.
The event is always about building buzz in the press about designers' latest collections, but one piece of news was also buzzing in the tents. British fashion designer John Galliano, who was fired six months ago as the creative director of the fashion house Dior, was found guilty and given a suspended fine for making anti-Semitic remarks by a French court.
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The first day's events also were cut short as designers prepared to celebrate Fashion's Night Out. In its third year, the event - which was conceived by Vogue's Anna Wintour - celebrates fashion and shopping, and has grown enormous, with events planned not only in the high fashion boutiques and department stores of New York, but in suburban shopping
By Jessica Naziri, CNBC.comRead More »from Top 10 Cosmetic Surgeries of 2011
Maybe people need a distraction from the bleak economic headlines of the day, or maybe its America's obsession with youth. Either way, business is booming in the business of nips, tucks, and lifts.
Cosmetic plastic surgery procedures rose two percent to 1.6 million in 2010, according to a recent study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), which represents 7,000 board-certified plastic surgeons.
"Consumers are willing to spend on themselves again and confidence is up," says Dr. Phil Haeck, president of the ASPS.
Although 91 percent of all cosmetic procedures were performed on women, statistics show that more men are going under the knife. Overall cosmetic plastic surgery procedures for men were 2 percent higher in 2010 than the previous year.
"The men out there are worrying about how they look compared to the competition, which is much younger," says Haeck.
So what are Americans looking to improve? Check out the most popular cosmetic
By Christina Cheddar Berk, CNBC.com
It's that time again. Lincoln Center is buzzing with hoardes of retail buyers, socialites, celebrities and journalists, watching designers at Fashion Week unveil collections for spring/summer 2012.
But for other folks, the job is to think beyond next season.
Fashion trend forecaster David Wolfe has been picking through the latest designs coming down the runway in order to summon up the trends he expects to dominate in fall/winter 2012.
But beyond what colors and styles Wolfe, the creative director at Doneger Group, expects to see next year, there is a more important message: youth is no longer driving fashion, and younger lines are wisely "aging."
And that is having an impact on the designs of the clothes that we will see next year.
Why is this happening? Baby Boomers are regaining economic control of fashion. They have no desire to step back from fashion and sit at home in a housecoat.
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By Jill Weinberger, CNBC.comRead More »from 15 Failed Celebrity Businesses
In recent years, multiple celebrities have attempted to extend their brand by venturing into the business world. Actor and comedian Will Ferrell found tremendous success with his website, FunnyorDie.com, while Rapper Sean Combs (P Diddy) owns multiple businesses, including a record label, a clothing line, a movie production company, and more.
Despite all the successful celebrity ventures in the world, however, there are numerous examples of celebrity businesses that have gone bust.
A celebrity name can automatically help a business, bringing in a recognizable spokesperson and a built-in fan base. However, just because a celebrity brand is attached to a business, it doesn't guarantee success-and may occasionally cause more harm than good.
Celebrity businesses fail for numerous reasons, from poor business management and lack of experience, to bad concepts that were doomed from the beginning. Regardless of the reason, these celebrities have learned the hard
Time and time again, the conversation keeps coming back to consumer confidence. We're locked in a standoff where businesses say there isn't enough demand to hire more and consumers say they aren't spending because they're worried about their jobs.
Throwing more support behind the argument that consumers are fearful, and that fear is hurting spending, is a new survey conducted by Boston Consulting Group that found more American women, especially professional women, are feeling insecure about their finances. This is key because women do the bulk of the spending, and consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of the U.S. economy's growth.
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By Daniel Bukszpan, CNBC.comRead More »from 5 Toys That Failed
Whenever parents put on amateur Santa Claus hats and try to choose toys for their children, they're often in for a difficult task with several volatile factors. Will the toy make loud, irritating noises? Is it too expensive? Does it have small parts that are destined to be lost forever under the couch?
While choosing toys for a child poses many challenges, designing them presents even more. Will it be sold in an eye-catching package? Is it a tie-in with a movie that nobody wanted to see? Will it burst into flames when it's turned on? Does it have small parts young children might choke on?
These are all factors that toy manufacturers must take into consideration, and as with any other business, none of them can bat .1000. Even companies that have dominated the market for decades have rolled out products demonstrating a shocking inattention to safety, an utter lack of taste, or a premise that causes potential buyers to wonder aloud if the toy is actually
By Cindy Perman, CNBC.com
In tough times, some strained marriages crack. Others try to hold on until they just can't hold on any longer. One thing's for sure: Bad economies are good times for the cheating business - and other freaky stuff couples do to survive.
You might think that the divorce rate would spike during a recession but in fact, it's been pretty consistent around 50 percent for the past five years, said Ken Altshuler, president-elect of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
That number briefly dropped to about 35 to 40 percent for about six months during the recession as some starry-eyed lovers tried to hang on, but then shot up to 60 to 65 percent for the next six months as those hangers-on caved under the weight of the added financial stress that came with the recession. But since the spring of 2010, as the economy has shown signs of recovery and then faltered again, that number has remained consistent at around 50 percent.
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By Colleen Kane, CNBC.comRead More »from 10 Best Fall Drives
When it comes to leaf-peeping, the longtime champion New England tends to sweep the awards by default. Of course, tree leaves make their seasonal color changes in other parts of the country, too. (Though you likely won't see as many maple products, cider, cider doughnuts, centuries-old stone walls, or endearing New Englandahs along the way!)
Fortunately, beauty-seekers all over the country can still on head out for a fall drive. The local tree line might be mostly evergreens, but even a few conifers, such as the Tamarack, turn a vivid yellow in the fall-and they're showcased on one of the following suggested scenic drives.
This list of the best fall drives was provided by Terence Baker of AAA New York, based in Garden City. Click ahead to see the routes, along with the sights, attractions, and activities to be found with these 10 scenic byways.
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