Veni, Vidi, Gucci

Meet Choi Ju Hee, savior of the South Korean economy. Armed with two credit cards and an allowance from her parents, she spends at least $600 a month on clothes, drinking with friends and a serious cell-phone habit (her father once cut off her home phone for a month to teach her a lesson on the cost of things). Her most prized possession: a pair of Salvatore Ferragamo loafers. What she badly wants: a pair of Prada sneakers. On a recent shopping expedition, she eyes a white cotton DKNY skirt. Her mother steps in, telling her it is "too fancy." But...

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