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(Published: 2010-09-29)

At the cusp of the millennium, social critic David Brooks wrote a witty and wise book called “Bobo’s in Paradise.” The book had a big impact on my retail perspective, and it’s still extremely relevant today.

Bobo stands for bourgeois bohemian. Bobo’s are a hybrid culture that combines the sophisticated, bourgeois world of capitalism and artsy bohemian counterculture. According to Brooks, you’re a bobo if:

…your newly renovated kitchen looks like an aircraft hangar with plumbing, or if you selected your new refrigerator on the grounds that mere freezing isn’t cold enough.
…you’re fanatical about recycling and drive an SUV.
…you’re happy to spend a little more for socially conscious toothpaste (the kind that doesn’t actually kill germs, it just asks them to leave).

I recently connected with a retail friend that I hadn’t seen in a long while. He talked about his design projects for a company called Bobo Intriguing Objects. The name sparked a connection to Brook’s book. The Atlanta based company features furniture and decorative designs that combine

Axel Vervoordt

RH Wine Barrel Chandelier

Robyn Waters is president and founder of RW Trend, LLC. She is the author of The Trendmaster’s Guide: Get a Jump on What Your Customer Wants Next, and The Hummer and the Mini: Navigating the Contradictions of the New Trend Landscape. Learn more about Robyn at All Rights Reserved.

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