The seemingly rampant early success of brands such as Louis Vuitton a decade ago was largely due to the novelty of designer goods in China.
Angelica Cheung, Vogue China’s editor in chief, likened the first glut of luxury goods in China to food being given to the starving.
The well-heeled are now extremely well fed. For seasoned buyers of luxury, extravagant purchases such as Steinway grand pianos have become a symbol of culture and taste.
Some Chinese have even moved beyond luxury goods to assert their status, with a small but growing number of the wealthy buying 50-year leases on private islands.
In June, China Daily reported that the China Island Owners Association had more than 50 members and was set to grow rapidly.
But the strongest and most established luxury brands continue to dominate. Apple reported Chinese revenues of over $16bn (£10bn) for the first quarter of 2015, and its gold iPhone 6 was made specifically with the Chinese market in mind.
In cosmetics, Lancome and Estee Lauder are the highest selling beauty brands in China’s luxury market, and despite a slowdown in the automobile market, Audi, BMW and Lexus continue to sell high volumes.
In the wealthy south eastern city of Wenzhou, at least one $53,500 Lamborghini bicycle is sold each month, changing what was formerly “the people’s vehicle” into a sleek new toy for the rich.