No More Room For Gender Stereotypes When It Comes To Buying Fancy Stuff

Times used to be, men shelled out the big bucks for fast cars and women drooled over expensive designer shoes. But with high-end spending on the rise again, it seems men and women aren’t really shopping along stereotypical lines anymore. Sports cars and stilettos for everyone!

To that point, CNBC cites Bain & Company, which says demand for luxury items has grown by double digits recently, and retailers are seeing a new “trend” — namely, men shopping like women and vice versa.

In this case, shopping like a man includes buying Ferraris. In the past, women in North America accounted for only 1% of sales for the super speedy sports car. Now, 10% of Ferrari drivers are women. In China it’s even greater, at 30%.

As for the men, they’re ogling designer shoes in a way they didn’t used to.

“Over the last few years I have noticed a lot of people, men, are interested in shoes,” shoe designer Christian Louboutin said, adding that the hankering to own a beautiful thing knows no gender lines. “The demand for men’s shoes has been growing incredibly fast.”

Accessory retailer Coach is still mostly devoted to women, but the men’s boutique section in the flagship NYC store has seen lots of traffic as well.

“Men are becoming more comfortable…We have men coming into the store that got a wallet for a graduation gift 10 years ago and [leaving] with a briefcase. They’re trading up into the brand,” said one Coach exec.

Seems this shift isn’t just in the luxury world either — plenty of guys in skinny jeans are surely relieved they don’t have to steal their girlfriends’ denim anymore. And haven’t you heard? Men are even grocery shopping now! Will wonders never cease?

Luxury Goods: Men Buying Like Women, Ladies Shopping Like Guys [CNBC.com]