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A Close Encounter with Billionaire Couture, Menswear for Vampires

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A couple years ago, we heard talk of a luxury item so outrageous, so preposterous in price and function that it prompted one of those turn-to-a-stranger-and-proclaim-"Fashion is dead" moments. The piece? A $50,000 black crocodile umbrella, made by a company calling itself Billionaire Couture.

Up until recently, we hadn't heard anything more from them, let alone physically see anything they've produced. All that existed were rumors that the likes of David Beckham and Paul McCartney were sporting the label, and the embarrassing news that Billionaire Couture's founder?former F1 boss Flavio Briatore?was not only banned from F1 because of race fixing, but also embroiled in a law suit over the this clothing brand.

Billionaire Couture seemed to be dying ... but then we went to Vegas.

It's a shame about The Palazzo Shoppes; there's Vegas' only Christian Louboutin in there, as well as an Anya Hindmarch and a branch of Barneys New York and yet they feel so tucked away. It was here that we had our first tango with Billionaire Couture in the flesh cloth.

Filled with burn-out velvet shirts, Texas-appropriate belt buckles, furs seemingly stolen from Jay-Z's closet and tie stick pins flaunting gems of impressive size, it seems the perfect place to outfit two sorts of man: the romantic and cash-flush vampire a la Lestat from the Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles, or a regular Joe Schmo who did well at the tables and has had his testosterone and adrenaline boosted enough to have the cajones to walk into the store and browse the belts.

It's generally said that if you have to label something as "for millionaires" or billionaires, in this case, then it's solidly for those who only aspire to be them. And that is what Billionaire Couture's look is?the mere idea of what a Billionaire would wear.

If only this were the 1970s in New York and then Billionaire Couture would be perfect for a third sort of man: the pimp.
· Billionaire Couture [Official Site]
· Flavio Briatore sued by Angelo Galasso over Billionaire Couture shares dispute [Telegraph UK]