'Bling' belt adds £800 for each inch of waistline

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The Independent Online

Coco Chanel once said you can never be too rich or too thin and hopeful punters would certainly have to be both to enjoy Selfridges' latest extravagant offering.

The £20,000 gold studded belt - which has been described as the height of bling - goes on sale today but it gets more expensive if you pile on the pounds.

Aimed at men with an exhibitionist streak, the belt features 70 individually carved 18-carat gold pyramid studs on white leather.

But shoppers whose waist size is bigger than 28 inches - the equivalent of a woman's size 10 - will have to pay £800 for each extra inch added.

The limited edition belt - made by the designers called, aptly, Money is finished with a classic buckle crafted from solid 18-carat gold and the smallest version weighs just over 1lb (0.5kg).

Head of men's fashion at Selfridges David Walker-Smith said: "We commissioned Money to produce this belt in response to the return of all that is opulent."

One can only imagine what Chanel - the woman who championed the classic little black dress - might have thought of such glitzy opulence, let alone the 97-year-old department store's austere looking Victorian founder Henry Gordon Selfridge.

But although unlikely to be to everyone's taste, the belt is likely to prove a winner with the fashion label's clients in the hip-hop world.

Gold is the trend for the store's Christmas collection and the belt is likely to fit in well with those who are not only unafraid to flash their cash but wear it around their midriff.

Burberry has designed a gold coat for £895 while there is an Yves Saint Laurent muse bag for £799 to complete the ensemble along with Christian Louboutin python shoes at £590. For those who would rather decorate their home than themselves there is a gold Dualit toaster for £119.

"Last Christmas was very minimal and pared down. So we thought we would go with the flip side this year and make things very opulent and very bold. We invited different designers to make something.

"The belt is really only for someone with a very high disposable income who is quite bling, a hip-hop artist or footballer. I don't think it is going to be for the average City worker. But we think people will see the sense of irony," said a Selfridges spokesman.

The belt, which goes on sale in the accessories department of Selfridges' flagship London store tomorrow, is just the latest in a long line of offerings which the average shopper might simply see as obscenely expensive.

Harrods recently brought in a bullet-proof safe for Stuart Weitzman's bespoke £1m shoes which include a set woven in platinum thread and decorated with 642 rubies.