A mother recently bought a Vivienne Westwood crossbody bag for her daughter for 580,000 Korean won (HK$3,688). “My 16-year-old daughter asks for a Prada or Saint Laurent handbag that’s at least five times the size. But I said no because it is too expensive for a high school student,” she said. “Now, I’m worried she might be looking for something more expensive next.”
 Thousands of luxury movies showing teenagers in luxury drag shopping spree indicate that luxury consumers are growing up. In a 2020 survey of 783 middle and high school students conducted by Smart F&D, 56.4 percent of respondents reported purchasing luxury products.
 Experts say the appeal of luxury brands to teenage consumers is influenced by social media. Consumers generally prefer luxury goods that meet their unique preferences and preferences. But Koreans make a safe choice by buying the most popular ones. They often rely on celebrities associated with luxury brands to make better decisions,” said Kwak Geum-ju, a professor of psychology at Seoul National University.
 Suh Yong-gu, a business professor at Seokming Women’s University, described teenage consumers as having a one-way connection with K-pop stars. “K-pop stars are huge influencers. “Because luxury sales are digitally influenced, their social media posts and YouTube videos on luxury brands lead to a ‘subculture’ – shaming of wealth – among younger consumers,” the professor explained.
 In pursuit of Asia’s big spenders, some luxury brands have recently appointed K-pop stars as their global ambassadors. In January, French fashion house Dior named Jimmy as the global brand ambassador of K-pop boy band BTS. BTS’s Suga is now the global ambassador for Italian luxury fashion brand Valentino, and Big Bang’s Taeyang is one of Givenchy’s ambassadors.
 Luxury brands are well aware of the huge influence K-pop artists have in attracting young consumers and creating social media buzz. If brands get the right face to represent their products, sales are guaranteed to increase dramatically.
 “Post-Covid-19, the European luxury market is shrinking, while the Asian market is growing. Heading into Asia, brands are appointing Korean celebrities as ambassadors because of their strong influence in the region,” said Suh. “The more young consumers learn about luxury brands through K-pop idols, the more they want to buy. Even ‘What luxury brand are you?’ There is a personality test called.”
 Lim Myung-ho, a professor of psychology at Dankuk University, warned teenage consumers to avoid overspending on luxury items. “What’s surprised me lately is that kids liken the hierarchy of K-pop idols to the hierarchy of luxury brands as to who’s the brand ambassador. In many cases, teenage consumers feel like celebrities are an extension of themselves,” he said.
 “They mainly depend on their parents’ money and end up spending more than their budget. Often, people are more inclined to disengage when they feel less in control of their lives – for students, it’s common to feel discouraged about studying and improving their academic records. In the long run, these behaviors can lead to bad consumption habits.
Source: Korea Times, February 4
1. What did the parent in paragraph 1 think about her child’s first question?
2. What does the word “priority” suggest about the teenagers mentioned in paragraph 2?
3. In paragraph 2, the study shows that…
A. Many parents were willing to buy high-end items for their children.
b. High school students were more inclined to spend their money on popular brands.
c. More than half of the respondents owned at least one luxury item.
d. The number of teenagers from luxury brands has increased tenfold in the past decade.
4. Which of the following is NOT featured in a “luxury movie”?
A. Unload branded products
b. Comparing different luxury items
c. It shows a variety of high-end items online
d. None of the above
5. According to Article 3, how are Korean users different from those from other places?
6. In paragraph 4, find the phrase “a phenomenon in which people do or support something primarily because others do it.”
7. Why were the individuals mentioned in paragraph 5 appointed as luxury brand ambassadors? (2 marks)
8. What could be the purpose of the personality test mentioned in paragraph 7?
9. Decide whether the following statements are true, false or if the information is not given in the text. Black only one circle for each statement. (4 marks)
(me) “Flex culture” refers to a type of consumption related to showing how much money one has.
(ii) After appointing Valentino Suga as its global ambassador, he quadrupled his profits.
(iii) Teenagers are mostly resistant to advertisements featuring celebrities promoting goods on social media.
(iv) Teenagers who are struggling with their academics are more likely to be obsessed with luxury items.
BigBang’s Taeyang is the brand ambassador of French luxury brand Givenchy. Photo: Taken from Instagram/@Givenchy
1. She thought the handbag her son wanted was too expensive for a high school student.
2. They are too young to indulge in luxury purchases. (Accept other similar answers)
5. Instead of choosing luxury items that meet their unique preferences and preferences, they make a safe choice by buying the most popular ones endorsed by celebrities.
6. Bandwagon effect
7. As they are popular with young consumers in Asia, they can increase the sales of the brands they represent. (accept similar answers)
8. To introduce young consumers to different luxury products (accept other logical answers)
9. (I) T; (ii) of (iii) F (iv) T
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