Last year, socialite Jean Shafiroff was in the market for a new car.
“I always thought it would be fun to have a pink convertible,” she said. “But my husband made it clear that we can only drive gray or black cars now.
“It’s not cool to be too flashy,” Shafiroff, 64, added of her investment adviser spouse’s newfound rationale. “People want to be politically correct.”
In an age of Kardashian excess and an AOC-inspired backlash against Manhattan’s most moneyed, a subset of wealthy New Yorkers is attempting to lie low.
Boastful Instagram posts have been shelved, over-the-top bar mitzvahs nixed and $30,000 shopping sprees called off. Instead, the discreet elite are selling their multimillion-dollar homes via so-called “whisper listings,” re-wearing couture gowns and even flying commercial.
According to Compass realty president Leonard Steinberg, you can blame the current “geopolitical scenario” for the new faux austerity.
“There has been this phenomenal growth in the socialist movement, and you don’t want to be identified as a person with a tremendous level of wealth,” added Steinberg.
As a result, said Betsy Cox, who owns a high-end concierge service, “A lot of my clients have stopped flying private and they won’t post photos from first class [on social media]. There is now a stigma to flying private. Even amongst peers it comes off as too flash.”
Six-figure bar mitzvahs have also been scaled down.
“Parents don’t rent out Yankee Stadium anymore for bar mitzvahs or have 400 people at the Museum of Natural History,” said Uhry. Now, even the wealthiest bar mitzvah parents “go to Chelsea Piers like everyone else.”