A disturbing phenomenon occurs when young women come to work on board a luxury yacht. The exposure to wealth and hierarchy on board can create a kind of status-level and can lead to a closet containing $50,000 of handbags and designer clothing! Fortunately for some, they see through this false sense of wealth and invest in property and other investments which see them well beyond their yachting years.
Young Stewardesses come from all walks of life - perhaps they grew up in a country where the gap between rich and poor is extreme. Others come from middle-income families where they grew up going on summer vacations, had a relatively safe neighborhood in which to play and graduated from the local university with a degree.
Once hired on board a yacht, everyone follows the same course - starting as a junior Stew, you come in with what you own, be it a modest handbag and a couple of pairs of 'nice' shoes, or a knock-off Coach or one of the real deals! You work for a couple of months, perhaps send some money home for family or to pay some bills and from here, it begins...
It's charter season or your yacht owners run a massive property development company and have an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion euros. Guests/Owners come on board sporting the latest in Prada, Gucci, Armani and other haut couture and these items end up in the hands of Stews. They hang them up, fold them, iron them, wash them and God forbid, stain remove from them! These clothes feel so soft, look so glamorous, fit so well and make some feel this is the new standard! Why are we wearing our 2-year old dress from Bebe or shorts from American Crew when we could be wearing THIS! And check out those Sophia Webster shoes that retail for £240 or $345 or €310! Wouldn't it be nice to own a pair??
The trip is over, the charter guests tipped LARGE or the crew got paid and there are now a couple of days off. What else can satisfy some much-needed time off the boat than a little shopping excursion? We ARE in one of the most luxurious locations in the world too, right??!
Unfortunately, on some yachts, Stews feel a certain push towards shopping at this level, completely oblivious to the fact that owners and guests often have access to millions of shopping dollars and can literally buy any fashion accessory available. Sure, it may fit well and look great, but it can cause a certain disconnect with the real world and even from family (I'm so embarrassed my old friends wear such boring clothes and work in offices!!) Fortunately for some Stews, they are grounded and realize it's fun for a bit, but in the long run, they can make better spending choices. This is just a little awareness 'push' about what can get completely out of hand if you let it, and to be aware of your shopping excursion purchases. I suppose we're lucky to live in such tight quarters, in a sense, as we only have so much closet space in which to compact our new clothing purchases! Don't forget to save some money for life after yachting :)