#bling #birkins and #bentleys

#bling #birkins and #bentleys

Chances are, you're already following the likes of Audrey Tay (@audreytayy), Willabelle Ong (@willamazing) and Kim Lim (@kimmylecute) on Instagram.

Young, wealthy and social-media-savvy, these Singaporean women have over 130,000 followers in total and give us normal folk a glimpse into their enviable lives - fast cars, open bars and everything glitzy in between.

Want to be an Instagram star like them? All you need are some $15,000 Hermes Birkin handbags, a generous variety of Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo shoes, and frequent holidays to beautiful destinations like Morocco and the Maldives.

Such envy-inducing posts are part of a voyeuristic trend on social media - one best encapsulated in the now-infamous blog Rich Kids Of Instagram.

The two-year-old Tumblr blog (whose founder is anonymous) collects posts by the world's wealthiest youngsters and is chock-full of photographs of their private jets and diamond-encrusted watches.

These are accompanied with jaw-dropping captions like, "Always tip your private-jet captain $10,000."

Is this show-off culture the new normal? I speak to Audrey, Willabelle and Kim to get my head around the lives of Instagram's rich and famous.

"Everyone in school had branded bags"

It was a pink Bentley that kicked off Audrey's journey to social media fame.

"It started after I posted a picture of my 18th birthday present from my dad - a Bentley Continental GT that was customised in hot pink.

Before I knew it, I had lots of new followers," says the 20-year-old, who arrives at our interview in calf-high Christian Louboutin gladiator sandals.

She's also toting a pink Lady Dior handbag from the latest Fall/Winter collection.

The youngest child of businessman Peter Tay, the executive director of the SUTL group of companies, Audrey has over 2,600 followers on her Instagram account.

There, she shares pictures of her shopping sprees, regular travels, and her family's stable of nine cars.

The newest set of wheels in the collection? A white Porsche Turbo, which she got as a 20th birthday gift, that replaces her Bentley. Her love for fashion started when she was a student at Anglo-Chinese School (Independent).

"There was a lot of peer pressure to dress in a certain way. Everyone around me carried branded bags to school and wore designer shoes," recalls Audrey, who has just finished her diploma in business management at the Singapore Institute of Management.

Her first purchase, a large pink Balenciaga bag for her school books, set the wheels in motion.

Today, she owns over 80 designer bags, which include brands like Hermes, Dior, Chanel and Saint Laurent. Prices for an Hermes Birkin bag start at $12,000 - Audrey owns eight.

She also has over 40 pairs of shoes - everything from sky-high Christian Louboutin stilettos to Chanel slippers. Cities like Tokyo and Hong Kong are her favourite places to shop.

She flies (business class) to these places every two months, usually with her mum, with whom she is close. She travels so frequently that she has the store managers of overseas Chanel, Dior and Hermes boutiques on Whatsapp.

They contact her personally when they receive new merchandise - even reserving pieces for her until she's able to fly in to pick them up.

Her biggest shopping spree? A trip to Paris three years ago during which she picked up 10 designer bags, four of which were from Chanel.

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