Young Billionaires, Then and Now

Then: The Young Howard Hughes…

Young Howard Hughes, so dashing!

Ayyyy! So dashing!

Now: The Young Mark Zuckerberg…

Who says that glamour is dead?

Manolo says, it is the shower shoes that really bring the ensemble together.

22 Responses to “Young Billionaires, Then and Now”

  1. Deborah June 1, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    Great coat on Hughes! For another reminder of the differences in how people dressed “then and now”, today’s Flickrblog has a photo of tourists at Versailles in the 1950s. Compare the women, with their gloves, high heels, and so on, with today’s tourist in running shoes, shorts, and a tee-shirt, and weep.

    • Kathleen Wagner June 1, 2012 at 11:36 am #

      Fine, Deborah. We’ll put you in high heels and send you out for a day’s hard sightseeing at Versailles, not omitting all the stairs. A party at Versailles for the diplomatic community requires heels and tight dresses; sightseeing requires practicality and comfort.

      • LIsa from SoCal June 1, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

        There’s a middle ground between the top-notch digs that people wore for photographs back in the day and complete and total schlumping. It’s important to remember that getting your picture taken then was an occasion; Hughes would have dressed for this occasion–rather than, like today, something that happens to you every time you go to the bathroom or QuikMart if you are celeb (and our notion of celebrity is expansive today).

        There’s a whole bunch wrong with what these images say, at least to me. There’s the idea that we should care what Mark and his lady are doing all the time, even when they are just traveling for fun, and the idea that jeans/shorts and t-shirts and flip-flops are the only things that can be comfortable and get you through a day of sightseeing.

        The other thing that concerns me about the reply is the “day of hard sightseeing.” Oh. My. God. If anything to me betrays the joyless way people live now, it’s the idea that a day of sightseeing is “hard.” It personifies the “I must see everything/do everything/experience everything” style of living that I just can’t abide. When I go on vacation, I see *one* thing a day, and then I demand to be set free. I can’t stand being expected to hurl myself around a city just to say I’ve seen it all. I’m lucky that I can afford leisurely vacations, but even on short visits I I guess I feel like not every fresco has to be seen, nor every crown jewel. I’d rather sip a cocktail or read a book in the plaza and watch people go by. And I’d rather not look like a 40 year-old college kid when I’m doing that.

        • gsarcs June 2, 2012 at 11:23 am #

          I’m with you. My wife and I think of vacations as periods of leisure. I ran across this little factoid: 90% of tourists end up in 10% of tourist sites. We’re on vacation to relax. Hanging out with crowds of tourists is not relaxing. So, we always make it a point to stay in a rented house or apartment in an out of the way location. We stay away from the crowds and the crowds stay away from us.
          Like you we choose one “big” thing to see or do per day. If it doesn’t happen we don’t stress over it…we’re on vacation! The rest of the time we indulge ourselves in the little pleasures of life that don’t come as easily in our actual lives.
          We have fond memories of the evening strolls through the countryside around Cooraclare, Ireland, having a morning cup of coffee at the neighborhood bar in the mountain top village of Castelbouno, Sicily, eating tapas while watching a soccer match in a little pub in La Atayala, Spain.
          We go to those places and make sure that we dress in a manner that is respectful and considerate of the local standards. We strive to be the polite guests.

        • MarkB June 2, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

          Lisa – I am so totally with you on this one. I came to hate vacations with certain people because the morning would be spent fighting over which places to go (and I’d be stuck in a hotel room for hours) and the afternoon would be spent racing from place to place. I wanted to stab myself in the gut so I wouldn’t be invited any more (“sorry, I’d love to go but the colostomy bag kind of makes it a drag…”). Eventually, I just learned to say no.

  2. Deborah June 1, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    No need to be snippy, Ms. Wagner. And bravo to you, Lisa, for recognizing both that one can look like an adult and be comfortable and that traveling can also mean sitting and enjoying the atmosphere.

    • Kathleen Wagner June 1, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

      As a matter of fact I never travel, and am the least likely American to want to sightsee anywhere. I didn’t bring it up, Deborah did. You two run along and wear anything you like. It won’t bother me a bit. But then, I’m a grownup.

      • A Male June 2, 2012 at 10:32 am #

        Oh look, here’s two ladies totally working the bitchy cliche men expect from you. Congratulations on living down to our expectations,

        • Mifty June 4, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

          Well, you’ve certainly put the girls in their place.

          If you really are “A Male,” you’d do best to realize that no woman has any obligation to consider the stereotypical expectations you (or anyone else) may have in your narrow mind before giving her opinion, in any form she finds appropriate.

  3. Deborah June 1, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    Well, then, Ms. Wagner, if it doesn’t bother you a bit, why did you respond to my comment at all? It wasn’t addressed to you; it was just a general observation prompted by the post.

  4. LIsa from SoCal June 1, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

    Ah, we have a troll.

  5. TB June 2, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    Let’s compare them again when they’re both about 60.

  6. Fred Z June 2, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Toes sticking out past the front of a shoe (or a shoe-like object) is a sign of someone too dumb or silly to buy clothing that fits. It’s a folly mostly of women as men don’t wear open toe so much and men loathe tools that don’t work properly.

  7. erp June 2, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    Manny, to be fair, you can’t see Hughes’ shoes. For all we know he might be wearing flip flops.

  8. Tim maguire June 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    In addition to some goods points above, it’s worth mentioning the apples and oranges being compared here. Hughes was born and raised in the lap of luxury, carefully raised to embody a certain style of wealth. Zuckerberg was raised normal and is a young billionaire only because he managed to earn great wealth while still young.

    • Anonymous June 2, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

      “Hughes was born and raised in the lap of luxury, carefully raised to embody a certain style of wealth.” Is not quite true. Howard’s dad was “wealthy” (oil drilling tools/bits), but Howard was a lonely child and not raised to a “certain style of wealth.

      Never met Howard, but I worked for Hughes Aircraft for 25 years after Howard became a “billionaire.”

  9. Sardondi June 2, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Ah, but the answer, she is so simple: while Howard Hughes was indeed the billionaire, as of a couple of days after the disastrous Facebook IPO, Mark Zuckerberg was, so sorry, not.

    Always happy to help, Manolo.

  10. Walter Sobchak June 2, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    Compare the quality of women your billionaire outfit fetches.

    Hughes: Jean Harlow, Kathryn Hepburn, Ava Gardner.

    Zuckerberg: Ugly Troll.

    • Christine June 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

      Walter Sobchak, can you be a bit more obnoxious?

      Whatever you look like on the outside, you’re the ugly troll inside.

  11. Joe Blow June 2, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    Yeah, but everybody eventually regresses toward the median. I put even odds on Zuckerberg dying alone in a dark hotel room in Vegas in 50 years, leaving behind only his fortune, a couple hundred bottles of urine, and a grocery bag full of fingernail clippings.

    • Rachel of Cyberia June 5, 2012 at 1:41 am #

      Someone will make a killing on ebay with those clippings and bottles!

  12. Alan June 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    Hughes is obviously a prepared photograph, possiblty a PR event of some other arranged photo-op. Zuckerberg’s photograph is a paparazzi shot.

    Apples/oranges.

    Here is a comparable picture of Zuckerberg.
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_r8GjWqN6cvM/TJ7VFkHqVaI/AAAAAAAANEE/OOtu_KjdIIg/s400/zuckerberg-priscilla-chan.jpg