versace handbag

Jackie and friends with Versace handbags at a private opening at the Versace store, Beverly Hills, California, 2007. (Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE)

Plastic surgery, private jets, toddlers in designer clothes, magnums of champagne — Lauren Greenfield’s 500-page photo collection, Generation Wealth, shows all of that. But this book isn’t just about people who are wealthy, it’s about people who want to be wealthy.

Greenfield says, “With the rich kids, I was looking at how they were growing up quickly, and how they were influenced by the values of Hollywood … [and] hip-hop culture. … Then I also photographed kids from East LA and South LA who, on the other side, were emulating the trappings of wealth.“

It’s like a feedback loop, she says. The rich kids want to look like the poor kids, and the poor kids want to look like the rich kids.

Don’t Be Fooled: ‘Generation Wealth’ Is More About Wanting Than Having