11th December 2023 – (Hong Kong) Priscilla Ku Kei-kwan, known as “Bossku,” has once again captured attention with her specially-themed Christmas tree. Renowned as a prominent figure in the upper echelons of Hong Kong society, Ku is no stranger to flaunting her wealth and love for all things materialistic. Last year, she drew widespread admiration by adorning her Instagram with a photo next to a towering Christmas tree, adorned with an array of gaudy Hermès trinkets and over a hundred Hermès gift boxes.
This year, as the popular film “Barbie” took Hong Kong by storm, Ku jumped on the Barbie bandwagon, showcasing her Christmas tree with a Barbie theme. However, it’s important to note that her Barbie collection is far from ordinary. Each doll is a limited edition, donning designer outfits from renowned fashion houses such as Oscar De La Renta, YSL, Moschino, and Coach, further accentuating her “exquisite taste” and penchant for branded items.
Ku took to Instagram on the 10th of December to share her Christmas tree decorations for this year. The close-up shot revealed a plethora of Barbie dolls hanging from the tree, including several sought-after collector’s editions. Some of these dolls command prices ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars, showcasing the substantial investment she has made. Ku captioned the post, “This year’s theme is Barbie. Ready for Christmas!! Sharing my collection of over 20 years, coinciding with the movie release. Cheers!” She also shared images of unopened collector’s editions, expressing her reluctance to remove them from their packaging.
Notably, Ku’s affinity for Hermès extends beyond her Christmas tree decorations. On her 60th birthday, she proudly showcased her Hermès 25cm Himalayan Kelly bag, a luxurious accessory that has fetched prices as high as HK$3.5 million at auctions. Her collection also includes a white Hermès Birkin Cargo bag valued at around HK$400,000, bringing the total value of her Hermès collection to over HK$10 million. Last year, her Christmas tree was adorned with over a hundred Hermès gift boxes, featuring not only the ubiquitous calfskin designs but also micro bags crafted from lizard and crocodile skins, each valued at a minimum of HK$40,000 to HK$50,000. With at least 20 “bags” embellishing the tree, the total value of the decorations exceeded HK$1 million.
While many women in Hong Kong and around the world view Hermès as a symbol of financial success and social status, Ku’s ostentatious display of wealth has drawn both admiration and criticism. Some argue that her Christmas tree adorned with luxury bags lacks the traditional symbolism associated with Christmas trees, instead emphasising a show of affluence rather than devotion to Christianity.
Ku’s personal life also reflects her privileged position. After marrying Lung Hau-yin in 1986 and giving birth to a son, the couple separated due to work, leading to their official divorce in 1997. In 2003, Ku remarried Owen Chan Sze-wai, a prominent figure in the business world. Apart from her biological son, she has a stepdaughter and stepson, as well as two adopted orphans and sponsorship of four children through Po Leung Kuk.
Dr. Tom McDonald, an associate professor and media anthropologist from HKU, shed light on the fascination of Hong Kong women with Hermès. He emphasized that the desire for luxury items goes beyond mere functionality and is rooted in the need for recognition and social acceptance. He also highlighted the complex motivations and social dynamics that influence consumer choices, acknowledging that different groups might have varying perspectives on the use of wealth.