Dua Lipa might seem like a surprising choice for our cover star. The 21-year-old British singer is the first celebrity to grace our cover in years, and her songs – infectiously groov y pop tunes – are undisputedly commercial. Then, there’s her Martin Garrix collaboration Scared To Be Lonely (I deplore EDM).
There are two interconnected reasons. The first, and most significant, is the undeniable fact that with her deep, soulful vocals reminiscent of a young Amy Winehouse, the girl can sing. Sure, her 1.2-million-strong Instagram following alone might be considered editorial gold in this Insta-crazy age, but that in itself wouldn’t have mattered if not for her incredible, natural talent.
Which leads to the other reason: that she’s bound to get bigger, underscoring another one of our missions as a fashionforward magazine: to uncover and spotlight the tastemakers and cultural stars of the future.
Elsewhere in this issue, you’ll find many other names who similarly check these boxes. There are the filmmakers ushering in a new golden era in Singapore cinema with their poetic, heartfelt works and refreshing perspective (pg 80). The oldest featured is just 28 years old.
Then there’s the German documentary maker Reiner Holzemer (pg 48), who’s largely only been known within creative circles for his highly intimate portrayals of photographers. That, however, is starting to change as his feature on Dries Van Noten – his first on a designer – goes global this year.
There’s also the charming Michelle Garnaut (pg 42), pioneer of the hyper glamorous, gamechanging series of M restaurants across Asia, whose enthusiasm and critical eye on the business of fine dining just won’t quit.
As the borders of the fashion and publishing industries continue to shift and get increasingly porous, I find it all the more imperative to be relentless yet adventurous in our search for tomorrow’s visionaries. The ones with the substance to back their ideas and continually evolve. The ones with something valuable to say. And to celebrate them by making them a part of our conversation – even if at first glance, we might not always seem to be singing the same tune.