For that, you can thank our New Gilded Age, with a wealth gap that's become a yawning chasm. There are currently more millionaires worldwide than ever—the total jumped by 10 percent in 2012 alone—which means a huge demand for those who serve the super-rich, like the butler. The Russian oligarchs, Middle Eastern oil barons, and Asian moguls buying up expensive real estate in and around London are also exporting the Euro-aristocratic lifestyle back home. Thirty-five years ago, there were only a few hundred butlers left in Britain; today there are roughly 10,000, plus thousands more abroad, including the fastest-growing butler market of them all, China. "For the Chinese, it's a status thing," says Sara Vestin Rahmini, who founded Bespoke Bureau. "They're like, 'Just send us somebody who looks British, who looks European.' "It seems the Chinese are mad for Downton Abbey, which partly explains why a British butler is the ultimate status symbol.
Friday, May 16, 2014
Butlers are Back