Amer­i­can Dreams

Hong Kong Tatler - - Editor’s Note -

One af­ter­noon a few years ago, I was walk­ing along Ice House Street when I saw a group of smartly dressed ex­ec­u­tives up ahead. They were in a cir­cle fac­ing each other, lis­ten­ing in­tently and nod­ding me­thod­i­cally. As I ap­proached, I could see a pair of arms shoot­ing up from the cen­tre of the cir­cle, ges­tic­u­lat­ing wildly—point­ing here and there, di­rect­ing the heads of the mul­tira­cial ex­ecs to­wards cer­tain shopfronts on the in­ter­sec­tions. I won­dered to my­self: “Who is this diminu­tive but com­mand­ing fig­ure?” As I drew closer, the tell­tale signs re­vealed them­selves: black polo neck and trousers, a dig­ni­fied plume of sil­ver hair con­trast­ing with the tanned skin of a re­laxed and suc­cess­ful man. It was none other than Ralph Lau­ren him­self.

Look­ing back, I wished I had asked for a selfie with this fash­ion ti­tan. But he was hard at work, in­struct­ing his team on which piece of prime Hong Kong real es­tate to ac­quire for his next Ralph Lau­ren store. There he was, in his 70s, still driv­ing the busi­ness, right here on the streets of Cen­tral. The scene was demon­stra­tive of how, af­ter decades at the top, he re­tains a deep en­gage­ment with his sprawl­ing life­style em­pire. In this month’s ex­clu­sive cover story on p.180, we in­ter­view Mr Lau­ren and dis­cover how this en­dur­ing icon main­tains his pas­sion. We also take a tour of his fas­ci­nat­ing of­fice—an over­flow­ing mu­seum of Amer­i­cana—and hear his thoughts on fam­ily, Asia and the ba­con cheese­burger at his epony­mous eatery in Lon­don.

You can find beau­ti­ful ob­jects galore in the Fea­tures sec­tion with our story on fam­ily heir­looms (p.196), in which we ask a co­terie of our so­cialite friends about the most trea­sured items passed down to them, from a cheongsam that once be­longed to a grand­mother to a 700-year-old bowl. Also in Fea­tures is our an­nual re­port on the most glam­orous ball in the world—be­sides the Tatler Ball, of course!—the Bal des Débu­tantes in Paris. This year, Hong Kong was well rep­re­sented by the glam­orous duo of Alexan­dra Louey, daugh­ter of Wil­liam Louey and Marie- Christine Lee, and Elly Lam, daugh­ter of Peter Lam and Lynn Hsieh. Turn to page 188 for Melissa Twigg’s ac­count, ac­com­pa­nied by charm­ing images from Hong Kong Tatler’s rov­ing pho­tog­ra­pher, Crazy Rouge.

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