Game On

Raphael le Masne de Cher­mont is a man who knows what he wants, which made for a su­per snappy cover shoot

Hong Kong Tatler - - Behind The Scenes -

e’re on set when Raphael le Masne de Cher­mont re­ceives a call from an un­known num­ber. “I’m sorry, I don’t speak Man­darin,” says the dap­per ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of Shang­hai Tang—in Can­tonese. The Bre­ton has been here for just over 20 years so it’s no sur­prise he speaks a lit­tle of Hong Kong’s tongue. Nev­er­the­less our crew is suit­ably im­pressed, es­pe­cially since the poly­glot is also flu­ent in Span­ish, French and English.

Raphael is a di­choto­mous com­bi­na­tion of highly en­er­getic and in­cred­i­bly re­laxed. He has a no-tie pol­icy (which fits neatly with his role as am­bas­sador for a brand pro­mot­ing Man­darin col­lars), he loves to walk and is a keen ad­vo­cate of med­i­ta­tion. On the flip side, he plays polo— face-shat­ter­ingly se­ri­ous polo, as you’ll read in our cover story. As a mem­ber of the Hong Kong Polo Team, he reg­u­larly zips off to var­i­ous coun­tries to give his mal­let a run for its money. He hates lazi­ness and is cel­e­brated as the man who trans­formed the Shang­hai Tang brand from a ped­lar of pricey sou­venirs into a lux­ury la­bel for wear­able, mod­ern fash­ion—so am­bi­tion and drive are key char­ac­ter traits.

Both sides of his per­son­al­ity come out on set for pho­tog­ra­pher Olivia Tsang, who is us­ing equine-themed light pro­jec­tions to glam up our stu­dio shoot. Raphael loves the tech­nique so much that he says he might em­ploy it for a Shang­hai Tang cam­paign. He has no qualms about voic­ing his opin­ions on the qual­ity of each take, and is keen to have fun with his por­traits, not­ing that he hates to be too se­ri­ous. Ef­fi­ciency reigns—as we sus­pect it al­ways does when Raphael is in con­trol—and we’re fin­ished in just a few hours.

Turn to page 136 for the full story.

Raphael is adamant: There’s no need for a tie when we have the won­der­ful Man­darin col­lar

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